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Press Release

LiveStrong Challenge
Philadelphia, PA and Boulder, CO

Consultant And Program Staff Join Team Avengers Races

Susan Holden Walsh
Holden McClure PR

August 31, 2006

Family Counseling Professionals Will Build On Relationships and Collaboration Skills As They Band Together as “Team Avengers” for Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong Challenge Philadelphia, September 10, 2006

PHILADELPHIA, PA AND BOULDER, CO, … It’s not unusual for professionals in the field of helping at risk teens and families in crisis to come together as a coordinated team to facilitate the process of family healing.  What’s different this time is that they are banding together as a team - Team Avengers - to support each other, raise funds and to “inspire and empower people living with cancer” through the LiveStrong Challenge race in Philadelphia, September 10, 2006.  The event includes running, biking and walking as team members will race for themselves, friends and family in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Cyclists will ride 10-100 miles, runners will run a 5K or 10K, and others will walk a 5K (www.livestrongchallenge.org).

Illustrating the teamwork necessary in the industry, Team Avengers led by Team Captain and Educational Consultant Mike Balotti of Jim Nolan and Associates, features members from across the U.S., including: Elizabeth McGhee of Rancho Valmora and High Frontier, and Amanda Thomas and Beth Laughlin of Confident Living, Inc., and Jude Rudolph of ASCENT, Boulder Creek Academy and Northwest Academy. Balotti, a cancer survivor will ride 100 miles along with Rudolph, while McGhee, Thomas and Laughlin will all run the 10K event.  Team Avengers hopes to raise $10,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Members of the industry who would like to support Team Avengers through donations may do so by emailing or calling Mike at balotti@verizon.net or (610) 527-9242.

Each Team Avengers member is motivated to participate in this event based on their own life stories. They hope to motivate others to think beyond themselves and understand all of our interconnectedness as people and families.  Brief bios of each member and quotes from them about why they are Team Avengers are listed below.  Stay tuned for a follow up report on race results and final fund raising tallies after the race.  The team thanks everyone for their support as they head into this exciting event. 

Educational Consultant: Jim Nolan and Associates, Philadelphia, PA

Mike Balotti: Team Captain for Team Avengers: Riding 100 mile bike event: Educational Consultant: Cancer Survivor Mike is an Educational Consultant with Jim Nolan and Associates in Philadelphia, PA. “This will be my fourth year of riding the century with the LAF, with the previous three occurring in Austin, TX. As a long time bike enthusiast, Lance Armstrong fan, and cancer survivor myself, this event has tremendous importance to me.”

Therapeutic Programs:  Rancho Valmora and High Frontier
Rancho Valmora and High Frontier are non-profit Residential Treatment Programs located in northern New Mexico and the Big Bend Region of West Texas. The treatment programs use a Positive Peer Culture model to help emotionally disturbed adolescent males and females ages 12 – 18 years old.  For more information go to www.ranchovalmora.com and www.thehighfrontier.org

Elizabeth McGhee: Team Member for Team Avengers: Running 10K: Marketing Representative for Rancho Valmora and High Frontier  “I am thrilled to be part of this team.  Over the years, I have gotten to know Mike Balotti and have been amazed by his positive attitude and zest for life.  He represents a true survivor and clearly does not take anything in life for granted.  I am thankful to have him as a friend and know that due to organizations like LAF, we will eventually find a cure.  I feel this is the least I could do for such a good cause, and such a good friend.”

Aftercare and Transition Support Program:  Confident Living, Inc.
Confident Living provides aftercare support to families with adolescents and young adults transitioning out of treatment.  Confident Living’s unique approach supports the whole family in the real world environment of a family’s home and community.  For more information go to www.confidentlivinginc.com

Amanda Thomas: Team Member for Team Avengers: Running 10K: Referral Relations Associate, Colorado for Confident Living, Inc. Amanda feels honored and very excited to be running in her first 10k on September 10th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Amanda is so grateful to all of her friends, family and professional colleagues for supporting her in the event.  “I chose to step up to the LiveStrong Challenge to honor my mom, and quickly realized I am running this for more than just her.  For each person that has sponsored me, I see a name of a person that was close to them who they lost or saw struggle with cancer.  I am running for people I haven’t met, but that have gone through a similar struggle as my mom and my aunt.  An added bonus is that my mom will be there to support me in Philadelphia. Her determination, strength, and attitude have made her a survivor and inspired me to live my journey.”  

Beth Laughlin: Team Member for Team Avengers: Running 10K: Director of Marketing and Customer Relations for Confident Living, Inc. “I am honored to be a part of Team Avengers, taking on this challenge to support an important cause.  Confident Living participants are running in honor of co-workers and colleagues who are cancer survivors and for Mike Balotti who has brought this team together and motivated us to get out there, push ourselves, and make a difference.  We are excited to be collaborating together in this event and hope that many others will join us next year.”

Therapeutic Programs: ASCENT, Boulder Creek Academy and Northwest Academy

is therapeutic wilderness program located in the Selkirk Mountains of Northern Idaho. The program provides a 6-week high-impact outdoor experience for adolescents 11 through 17 facing emotional and behavioral difficulties.  www.Ascent4teens.com

Boulder Creek Academy is a therapeutic boarding school located in Northern Idaho that emphasizes personal growth, academics, adventure-travel and clinical services all infused with emotional growth and learning assessment support and challenge. BCA is for students who have unique gifts and abilities but may have underdeveloped social and relationship skills. www.BoulderCreekAcademy.net

Northwest Academy is a therapeutic boarding school located in Northern Idaho specifically designed to provide a challenging blend of academics, psychotherapy, personal growth including substance abuse education and healthy-living for the 17 year old who have fallen behind in a traditional school environment. www.NWAcademy.net

Jude Rudolph: Team Member for Team Avengers: Riding 100 mile bike event: Director of Business Development: Ascent, Boulder Creek Academy and Northwest Academy “Mike Balotti asked me to join the Avengers. Mike has made a huge influence on me to not just sit back, but do something!  This event not only raises money, but it creates awareness in the community. Hey, together we can make a difference.  So I am riding for Mike, Carolyn, Cass, Gram, Mikkey, Brian, Tracy, Tori, Daniel, Karen, Katie, Don S., Don M., Jennette, Mare, Shannon and so many others.”

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