The Spirit Of Giving!

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Coaching charity runners has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.  I have learned more about the human spirit in the past 16 years than all the previous years combined.  Ironically, while I have undoubtedly shared 36 years of running experience with each TEAM that I’ve coached, I have been their student.  They have taught me the powerful lesson of giving and that any life worth living has to include serving others.

My enthusiasm for coaching and giving is fueled largely by their example.

Sometimes it’s important to look back to truly appreciate how much progress has been made.  The Marathon Coalition didn’t exist 4 years ago and was fueled by my desire to continue coaching after deciding to leave Team In Training and Mike Wasserman’s vision of bring multiple charities together.  Mike and I are so proud of all the funds that have been raised by each of our runners and the impact they’ve had in providing hope and opportunity for so many.

Each runner on the Marathon Coalition has a compelling story steeped in sacrifice, determination, and serving others.   I am so proud of the following 3 Marathon Coalition runners that were recently featured in the Boston Business Journal.

Laura Gassner Otting | CEO, Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. Running for: ACCESS, Laura’s web page for donations. Why she is running: “My marathon training has been about knocking down barrier after barrier in a sweep of momentum and positive energy, surrounded by other amazing charity runners who are running, many for the first time, as a wave of inspiration and dedication. Never have I looked deeper inside of myself to know what I was made of. I ran the first mile of my life less than two years ago, at age 39, as part of a midlife crisis where I discovered my inner athlete. I’d always wanted to run a marathon, but assumed the barriers of distance, time, and fitness were too great to overcome. Then I found out that I could run Boston by raising money for ACCESS, a nonprofit that places College Affordability Advisors inside high schools and community organizations to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to — and through — a postsecondary education. “I started my company ten years ago because I didn’t want the barriers to my professional ambition, and my company runs on a business model that reduces barriers for our clients so that they may hire the best talent possible. It seemed only natural that I would run to support a nonprofit that is knocking down financial barriers for students, many also first in their families, to go to college.”

Megan Herald, Vice President in Alternative Investment Solutions, State Street Corp. Running for: Mass Mentoring Partnership. Megan’s web page for donations. Why Megan is running: “I believe in mentoring. I have had amazing mentors in my life and now I try to do the same for others. I have been a community-based mentor for the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and now I am a school-based mentor with Big Sister. I look forward to spending time with Angela and letting her talk about anything that she wants. There is nothing better when you and the mentee realize that though you are very different, you have a lot in common. I have been very lucky to have a number of people in my life whom I have trusted and guided me, and I just hope I am doing that for my Little Angela.”  

Ranch Kimball, Trustee, Museum of Science, businessman. Running for: The Museum of Science. Ranch’s web page for donations. (Click “Donate Now” and give to Ranch Kimball.) Why Ranch runs: “I’m running the Boston Marathon for three reasons. I love talking with the families that stand and sit on their front lawns cheering the runners. So many of these front lawns are full of three generations – grandparents, parents, and kids all together, having a good time. I run it to keep fit. Nothing like a training season that starts week after Thanksgiving, runs through the winter and ends in mid-April, to keep you in shape. Finally, I run to support the Museum of Science, where I’m a Trustee. My family and I have visited the museum 296 times over the past seven years! But, the number of school visits to the Museum has fallen in half in the past decade. So, my marathon runs raise money for the Museum’s travelling programs that take exhibits out to kids at their schools. Last year I raised enough for two new portable planetariums. This year I’m raising enough to “adopt” every K-8 student in two cities, to fund traveling programs to come to all their schools.

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