Marathon Monday in Boston means many things to many people – a party. A personal record. The chance to give back, give hope and give help to those in need. And for one charity team – in a year when many nonprofits fell short of their marathon pledge goals – the day also meant raising way more money than expected.
Yesterday, the 19 members of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation Marathon Team – and its founders Patriots Superbowl champ Joe Andruzzi and his wife Jen – were thrilled to tally up more than $90,000 in race-related donations. The money will support the foundation’s dual mission: helping cancer patients and their families pay the bills during treatment, and funding pediatric brain research.
The team originally aimed to raise $65,000; it started with only seven confirmed runners in January and grew to 19 by Marathon day, helping it surpass its aggressive goal. Many team members were new to the Foundation, joining veteran Andruzzi fundraisers like Tim Weeks of Lexington. (The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is one of 31 charities assisted by the Boston Athletic Association, which provides guaranteed entries to the marathon for fundraising purposes. Each charity runner is required to raise at least $4,000; together, these amateur athletes will raise more than $10 million for Greater Boston nonprofits this year.)
Most Andruzzi team members have experienced cancer, up-close. Many have seen a family member, close friend or patient battle the disease, and many have lost loved ones. Several runners are cancer survivors themselves, including Rich DeSilva of Mansfield, Mass., who also ran to honor a close friend taken by cancer. Current cancer patient Gary Resnick, of East Setauket, NY, planned to run the 26.2-mile course on Monday, but was sadly too ill. His teammates signed a jersey for him at a pre-run celebratory pasta dinner with the Andruzzis on Saturday night.
Team Andruzzi’s resourceful runners raised their impressive donations in a variety of ways, both traditional and creative – through Facebook, email, letters, raffles and silent auctions, and personal fundraisers, like Texas hold ‘em tournaments and parties of all stripes. One exuberant young woman even sold dog cookies and held a designer yard sale.
These big-hearted athletes, who braved 90-degree temps on Heartbreak Hill, went the extra mile to raise additional donations because they know just how challenging cancer can be. And they want to give cancer patients and their families the freedom to focus on treatment, not bills. Their efforts will help the Joe Andruzzi Foundation meet its ambitious goals for 2012: helping more patients and families and raising more money for research.
We hope you can cover these inspiring Boston marathon finishers, who bucked the trend this year and exceeded their fundraising goal! Please contact me at 617 861 3656 or firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>; I would be happy to connect you with Joe and Jen Andruzzi, and our charity team runners.
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