After being stopped a few blocks from the finish line at last year’s Boston marathon because of the bombings, I’m excited to be an official entrant in the 2014 race and to once again raise money for a great cause - Endicott College’s Keys to Degrees program. I just hope there is less drama near the finish line this year.
In 2013, I was on Hereford St., about to turn onto Boylston St. for the final stretch, when the bombs went off. Although I was prevented from finishing, I consider myself lucky. My family had planned to stand along Boylston St. to see me finish, but they were late getting into the city, couldn’t find parking, and therefore never made it. And although I was close to the finish, I wasn’t so close that I witnessed the mayhem firsthand. The ordeal left me rattled for several weeks, but not traumatized.
Until the bombs detonated, everything had been going well in my first marathon. Injuries had limited my training, but I was on the verge of fulfilling a lifelong dream of completing the Boston Marathon. And it felt good knowing that I was supporting Keys to Degrees. I was part of a team of Endicott employees that raised $16,505 for Keys to Degrees through the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program. The Keys to Degrees program puts a college degree within reach of single parents seeking a better life for themselves and their children. The ten students in the program carry a full course load and must meet all requirements for their major and for graduation. They share living quarters on campus with other single parent families and take parenting classes offered by the College. I've had Keys students in my courses and they've been terrific. Some have become leaders on campus and qualified for membership in national honor societies in their fields. Graduates have landed good jobs, gone on to graduate school, and achieved financial security for themselves and their children.
By running for Keys, I’m also honoring single parents in general who juggle jobs, school, and child rearing – people like my mother, an elementary school teacher who was widowed at age 42, raised my three brothers and me, and managed to earn a Master’s degree in her late 40s.
My goal this year is to raise at least $3,000 for Keys by running the marathon. If you are willing to support me in this effort with a tax-deductible donation, you can do so through the link on this secure web page. Any contribution in any amount would be greatly appreciated.
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