Hi Friends and Family!
In high school, my coach used to begin every track and cross country season by asking my teammates and me a very simple question: why do you run? In many ways, my reasons for running have always been pretty consistent. I run because I love the sport and because running makes me feel happy and strong. This year, I am running the 2017 Boston Marathon, and I am running for a new reason. I am running to raise $10,000 for Dream Big!, an organization that empowers girls in low-income situations by providing them with the opportunity to participate in sports and physical activities by covering the costs of uniforms, athletic footwear, program fees, and other training expenses. And I cannot think of a better reason to run.
My own ability to participate in sports growing up had an immeasurable impact on my life. Track and cross country, in particular, gave me the confidence to know that I could confront the challenges I face on a daily basis. Through running, I forged important friendships and found role models in my coaches and teammates. I also discovered an important connection with the rest of my family, who are also runners. This year, my mom qualified for the Boston Marathon, and I am very excited to join her on the starting line in the spring. Since I first joined my high school track team, I have returned time and time again to running as a source of empowerment. This sport, as much as anything else, has helped to make me who I am. I hope that by running the Boston Marathon this year, I can help other girls to pursue their dreams, find their strength, and build their identities through sports.
Over the next five months, the Dream Big! Marathon Team will work to raise over $200,000, and I hope you will join me in support of this important cause with a donation to Dream Big!. Launched in Massachusetts in 2010, Dream Big! has already had a direct, positive effect on more than 22,000 girls in 22 states through equipment and sports attire donations, program scholarships, sports clinics and the Dream Big! Leadership Conferences for middle and high school female athletes from urban communities.
The money I raise will impact thousands of girls this year, and every donation, even just $10, can make a big difference. $35 will purchase a regulation soccer ball or basketball; $50 will purchase a pair a new pair of sneakers or cleats; $100 pays for an 8 week dance or fitness class for one girl; $200 covers the cost of a new bike and helmet; $500 funds P.E. equipment for an elementary school; $1000 pays for new uniforms, equipment and training for an entire sports team.
I would like to thank Dream Big! for giving me a new reason to run, and to thank you all for your support. I could not be more excited to represent this incredible organization on the starting line in the spring.
P.S. Something else that is pretty cool…this year’s marathon will mark the 50th anniversary of a very important day in women’s running history, when Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to cross the Boston Marathon finish line as a numbered entry!
For more information on Dream Big!, please visit www.dream-big.org