BENEFITING: American Heart Association
EVENT DATE: Apr 07, 2013
Abby Tolotti wrote -
I'm running the Atlantic City April Fool's Half-Marathon in memory of my dad. To honor his memory, I'm raising funds for the American Heart Association, and I'd like you to help me by donating what you can, if you can.
My dad, Henry Lindo Tolotti, passed away on October 8th, 2012. He died at the home I grew up in, from a heart attack. Nobody expected that he would be here one day and gone the next, without any time for goodbyes. So similar to how his father passed before him—both quietly due to heart failure, and both leaving so many loved ones behind.
My father was a hero. A decorated Vietnam veteran and infantry scout dog handler, he enlisted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. There he received a Bronze Star for bravery when his German Shepherd alerted to a waiting enemy ambush while walking point on one of many patrols in the thick of the jungle. One of the countless days he willingly risked his life for millions of unknowns, simply because he thought it was the right thing to do for our country.
My father was a hero in day-to-day life. This was evidenced by the presence of so many people from every stage of his life at his funeral, and the memories they told. His friends from high school who were looking forward to reconnecting at this year's reunion; the couples he and my mom dined and traveled with all over the country after he retired; coworkers from every stage of his banking career; and the family that has loved him since the day he was born.
My dad was a hero to me. He taught me to make the hard choice if that's what you believe in; do the right thing—if someone needs help, you help them. I've made lots of choices in my life, and he helped me every time I needed it, whether I realized I needed the help at the time or not. It was what he lived by, and it's been one principle that I've tried to live by as well—it's something I'll hold on to for the rest of my life.
This April, I'm running the Atlantic City Half-Marathon, the day after my 30th birthday. I never imagined he wouldn't be here with me on this milestone. The last email I ever got from him was from the day after my last race—him tellng me how proud he was of me for finishing it. So to honor him, to keep him close to my heart, and to continue to help others, I'm running this race for him and raising funds for the American Heart Association—with more funds for research, hopefully someone else's life can be saved.
Please donate what you can—for me, for my dad, and for all those affected by heart disease.