Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,
I have joined the American Medical Athletic Association(AMAA), the medical division of the American Running Association (ARA). After several years of my own physical challenges, I am celebrating my road to recovery, health and fitness by committing to training and fundraising for this important cause through "RUN the Boston Marathon with AMAA." If I meet my fundraising goal, I will also be able to attend a Sports Medicine conference at the Boston Marathon, geared toward teaching healthcare and other associated workers how to help maintain/increase the health and fitness of our families, friends, patients, and clients.
For the 2013 "RUN the Boston Marathon® with AMAA" program, we've partnered with CrowdRise to encourage AMAA members to unite and fundraise for our 2012-2013 Youth Fitness Campaign.* Just imagine the impact our group of medical and health professionals can have when harnessed to send a fitness message to the community in a fun and compelling way!
The Problem: Over 30 percent of children ages six to 11 are overweight, 15 percent are obese, and three out of five children ages nine to 13 don't participate in sports or other coached physical activities outside of school. These overweight and unfit children are more likely to remain unhealthy in adulthood and have an increased risk for developing life-threatening medical conditions such as Type II diabetes and heart disease.
The Solution: The American Running Association (ARA) and its medical division, the American Medical Athletic Association, are united in efforts to deter youth obesity in the U.S. and promote higher levels of physical activity for school-age youth. Donations made to ARA and AMAA's Youth Fitness Campaign will benefit national RUN A MILE DAYS, held annually in May. Funds will support distribution of free materials such as the 8-week walk/run training schedule and posters, as well as help with onsite activities during the week-long event. To learn more about the program, go to www.runamile.org.
The ARA and AMAA also host an annual cross-country championship for middle schoolers through high school students in several States and the District of Columbia. This event, held in November, is entering its seventh year and has grown to almost 500 participants.
* The 2012-2103 Youth Fitness Campaign is dedicated to Geoff Hollister who passed away on February 6, 2012 at age 66 after a long battle with cancer. Geoff, who was often called "Nike's Employee #3," was an ARA Board Member and good friend to our organization. He was a strong advocate of encouraging children to be active and believed in the team approach to make effective change. With his memory in our thoughts, we will work together to get more and more children up and moving.
Your donation is tax deductible to this 501c3 organization, and you will receive a documenting receipt. Thank you for all of your support. Please consider sharing this with any business that you feel may also want to endorse this effort to improve the fitness level of our children.
Best wishes for your health, happiness, & fitness,
Laurel J Mehler, MD
May 2014 addendum
A year has passed since the 2013 Boston Marathon was marred. The spirits of so many have strengthened. We returned stronger in number, spirit, and body with incredible determination to honor the fallen, the heros, our country, and our Race... and it was amazing. It was electric; the strength and enthusiasm charged the air. Keep on keeping on.