FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The annual Fort4Fitness Fall Festival weekend is approaching, which means thousands of people are training hard for the city’s premier fitness event. This includes a group of CASS housingan organization that provides safe and affordable housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

CASS Housing Walking Club

The CASS Housing Walking Club will be participating in the 4-Mile Run/Walk on October 1 in downtown Fort Wayne. Executive Director Becca Graf says the group uses the race as a way to measure its goals and be part of the greater Fort Wayne community.

“They should be part of all the community activities Fort Wayne has to offer and Fort 4 Fitness is just awesome where we can see thousands of people of all abilities being able to participate in the same event and be celebrated in the same way,” said she declared.

Caitlin Fraze has worked at Cass Housing for about a year. She’s been training hard for this year’s Fall Festival, although she already knows a thing or two about the big races. She won a medal earlier this year at the Indiana Special Olympics.

“I got several medals in the 800m walk and 400m walk this year. I worked very, very hard and I think the walking club had something to do with it, it helped prepare me,” Caitlin said.

Walking Club members train for the F4F race

This year will be Caitlin’s first Fort4Fitness run. It will also be the first participation of Joe Cretsinger. He is also part of the CASS community and uses the walking club as his training.

“Improving endurance and cardio is what takes even longer,” Joe said. “It will be good to exercise and I hope the weather is good enough.”

Becca Graf says the walking club helps members of the CASS Housing community set goals and learn new skills, like leadership. Then they apply those skills in the real world, which Graf says improves the community as a whole.

“Many of our CORE members volunteer, at Meijer, Kroger, at the YMCA, here in Turnstone, and so we are able to see that the skills they learn through our programs find their way into the community and improve Fort Wayne. .

A Cass Housing Walking Club member prepares for the F4F race

CASS Housing is also using the Fort4Fitness Fall Festival Run as a fundraiser to support some of their big programs like house building and cooking and finance classes.

If you want to support the CASS Housing team, click on HERE.

There is still time to register for the 2022 edition Fort4Fitness Fall Festival. Online registration is open until September 28. On-site registration is available during package pickup on Friday, September 30 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Parkview Field.