Established in 2000 to build resiliency among and support the health and welfare of US Navy SEALs, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) support personnel, special warfare combatant-craft crewmen and their families, the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) supports more than 9,000 active-duty personnel and veterans per year. The nonprofit is able to achieve this via support from individual donors and corporate partners like Trident1, GORUCK, United Airlines, and Amazon.
The following are four recent fundraising developments and partnerships that have benefited the NSF:
Partnership with Reebok
This past June, the NSF announced a historic partnership with iconic sportswear and footwear company Reebok, which will serve as the foundation’s Official Human Performance Partner. In this capacity, Reebok will specifically emphasize athletic performance in the NSW community, honoring these personnel on holidays and during promotions in 2019 and 2020.
As part of this partnership, Reebok sponsored the inaugural Boston Frogman Swim, a 5K open water race across Boston Harbor, on June 2, 2019. Reebok is also running a special promotion until the end of the year—military personnel and their families receive a 20 percent discount on merchandise at Reebok stores nationwide and through Reebok.com, providing they have a valid military ID.
“We’ve joined forces with Reebok to raise awareness around human performance and the benefits that fitness can provide to cope with the unique stressors that are part of NSW family life,” commented NSF CEO Robin King. “We want to keep today’s Navy SEAL healthy and in the fight knowing his family is safe, active and strong at home and we can’t wait to see how this partnership with Reebok enhances our mission of service to NSW and our families.”
The New York Frogman Swim
Boston wasn’t the only major municipality to host its annual Frogman Swim event in 2019. New York hosted its first swim in support of the NSF on August 25 at Pop’s Seafood Shack in Island Park. The event—organized in less than two months by Corey Muirhead, John Human, and Brian Valenza, among others—generated more than $100,000 in donations for the NSF. Valenza had the idea to bring the event to New York after witnessing first-hand the success of similar events in other cities.
Since its creation in Tampa Bay in 2010, the Frogman Swim Series has raised $3.5 million in support of the NSF. In addition to the aforementioned Boston event, San Francisco has been hosting a Frogman Swim benefiting the NSF for three years.
New York, which intends on hosting the fundraising event on an annual basis, has set a fundraising goal of at least $200,000 for 2020. The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim, meanwhile, raised a record-setting $725,000 in 2019.
$1 Million Commitment from KILL CLIFF
KILL CLIFF, which was founded by former Navy SEAL Todd Ehrlich, became the NSF’s first official corporate partner in 2015, and has donated more than $731,000 in cash as well as product and sponsorship equivalences in the first three years of its partnership.
The clean performance beverage company, however, announced this past April that it had planned to donate $1 million to the NSF in 2019 as a result of its rapid distribution expansion efforts. The company’s products recently launched in new retailers such as the Marine Corps Exchange and Sprouts, while others, like current KILL CLIFF retailers Wegmans and Ingles, have expanded their KILL CLIFF product offerings to include the Ignite and Endure beverage lines.
A portion of sales from every can of KILL CLIFF’s three unique beverage blends goes toward the NSF. They can be purchased at more than 2,500 retail locations throughout the US as well as in excess of 1,000 Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Airforce Exchanges.
Ted Gallagher’s 150-Mile Walk
While major events and corporate sponsors contribute a significant portion of funding for NSF programs and services, the nonprofit receives support from passionate individuals through a variety of fundraising methods.
On September 30, 57-year-old Ted Gallagher, along with four friends, began a 150-mile walk from Malibu, California’s Zuma Beach to the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado to raise money for the NSF. As of October 5, the San Francisco native had already raised more than $235,000 through personal donations and an NSF-affiliated crowdsourcing platform. He intends to complete more walks in the future, with the goal of raising more than $1 million for the NSF in his lifetime.
The son of a World War II Marine, Gallagher completed a 75-mile walk around Lake Tahoe in 2016, raising $157,000 for Marine veterans. His schedule for this 150-mile walk, dubbed the Ted Gallagher 150, involves 10 miles of walking per day with planned rest days every two or three days. He is supported by his wife Courtney, who picks him up after he reaches 10 miles each day. He generally completes the 10-mile walk in under four hours. Support Gallagher and his fundraising efforts here.