I am running in the Boston Marathon for The Red Cross again next year. I did not finish the 117th running due to the tragic events that occurred. I will finish the 2014 marathon and I will not allow those events to dissuade me from embracing the tremendous experience that is the Boston Marathon.
Also, this year I am very pleased to be running with my daughter, Gillian. Read her Team Red Cross website to know why she’s participating this year.
I want to thank last year’s contributors to my fundraising efforts on behalf of The Red Cross. 40 Team Red Cross runners collected over $175,000 in donations. 83 contributors collectively donated $6,111 to surpass my individual goal by 22%. I need your support again this year for The Red Cross. My goal this year is $6,500!
I want to share with you an email I recently received from the regional Red Cross CEO marking the sixth month anniversary of the marathon. This is why I run for The Red Cross.
The bombings affected us deeply. For the past 39 years, the American Red Cross has staffed and operated Marathon first aid stations. This year, we had 29 Team Red Cross runners stopped along the route —including me. We also had staff and board members among the crowd along Boylston Street.
In the days following the Marathon, more than 300 Red Cross volunteers worked to help victims and their families recover. The Red Cross helped convene and coordinate services at the Family Assistance Center where families of the injured and the deceased could learn about the resources available through public and private agencies. Those agencies, and more, continue to be involved in a Continuum of Care group first convened by the Red Cross. Now led by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, the group includes our staff, the Boston Public Health Commission, service providers, state agencies, the FBI and the Attorney General’s office. The Red Cross continues to work with our partners, to find creative solutions to the ongoing needs of the families and the wider community.
Even today, we are providing mental health support in our communities. Anniversaries can be difficult, and can trigger emotions connected to our experiences on Marathon Day – fear, anger, and helplessness. The American Red Cross of Massachusetts is working in partnership with the SAMHSA Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 to support anyone needing to talk about these feelings. We also support the Boston Athletic Association and are making our 800 number available to all 2013 runners and volunteers who still may be affected by the bombing.
The Red Cross is a tremendous organization that changes and saves lives throughout the world. Please support my fundraising efforts for The Red Cross as I endeavor to finish what I could not earlier this year. Boston Strong!
All My Best,