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UMAC Briarcliff's Berlow Says “I’m In” to Grand Canyon Team

The martial arts master combines his love of the outdoors with his passion for helping others.

Master Chris Berlow is living by the motto that he teaches his students at : “Make your contribution greater than your reward.”

The and owner of the North State Road facility is training for a hike in May that to the Grand Canyon in an effort to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The organization sponsors “Team in Training,” a program that provides training for endurance sports like marathons, triathlons and bike-rides. Participants raise funds in exchange for certified coaches, sports education clinics, a fundraising website, event fees as well as lodging and airfare to more than 60 accredited events in the United States and abroad.

When Berlow heard about the opportunity to be part of the team that will travel to the famous national park, the avid hiker did not hesitate to join.

“I am always looking for ways to help,” he said. “I love the outdoors—and to be able to hike with like-minded people who appreciate nature and have come together for the common cause of a great charity, is very meaningful to me.”

He added that the team has set goal of raising $12,000 that will help fund blood cancer research, education and patient services..

Now a group of three, Berlow hopes to recruit even more students, co-workers, friends and family to sign up for his team that will honor a young UMAC student.

“Our team will pay tribute to Jake—an 8-year-old boy that attends the United Martial Arts Center who is currently fighting leukemia,” he said.

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer every four minutes in the United States, and that every ten minutes, someone dies from the disease. They say that Leukemia still claims the lives of more children and young adults under the age of 20 than any other cancer.

Berlow’s team will train locally from January through May with a hike coach, who will help hone the members’ skills in orienteering, outfitting, hydration, and injury prevention—in preparation for the big trip.

Deputy Executive Director of Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Diandra Kodl is very pleased to have Berlow be part of the effort.

“He has done a lot with the community and his own business—it’s wonderful to see someone so passionate about hiking and the cause become part of the team.”

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