We submitted our 10th donation to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund for $39,000. This brings our total donations over the past ten years to $365,000!!
We knew it wouldn’t be. Between kids, husbands, games, work, dinner, homework, one cat and one dog; life was already chaotic enough. But we also know it will all be worth it.
All the elements are falling into place for April 10th. We have secured a most generous Presenting Sponsor, Tri-Coastal Design of East Hanover, NJ. Our other sponsors have donated water, fruit, brochures and posters. We even have a distinguished guest speaker for our morning program, New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey!
What needs to happen next? Tying up some loose ends, gathering our volunteers for the day and most importantly, signing up more walkers and runners. We have good momentum and some great marketing strategies in place to get the word out. Now we need participants. We are confident they will come, but we ask everyone to get the word out. If you are in Northern New Jersey on Saturday, April 10th, come join us in Roseland, NJ for the 1st Annual Running 4 Answers!
WOW. If we could only use one word to describe the inaugural Running 4 Answers, “WOW” would have to be it. An event that sounded like a good idea 10 months ago, turned into a very windy, but perfect morning that welcomed almost 300 runners, walkers, spectators and volunteers had 138 runners, 77 walkers and raised about $21,500 for Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Not bad for a first try.
The list of people we have to thank is long. First on that list are the people of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund who provided us with tremendous support: Katie Cutler, Mariah Baril-Dore, Katie Barr, Laurel Lyle and of course, Tim Armour.
Special thanks need to go to our technical/artistic support, Chris Gieger of Gieger Visual Communications and printer, John Moss of Galvanic Printing. These gentlemen donated ALL of their work to Running 4 Answers. Graphic design, website, posters, flyers and brochures. The cost of this alone would have been a huge hit on our little race, we are so grateful. Without the support of our families and friends, up to and including race day, we never would have had such success.
Running 4 Answers progressed from a vague concept that at times seemed impossible to an event that was not only a great race, but also raised awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.
We are already developing ideas to make Running 4 Answers 2011 bigger and better than this year. Our plans include becoming our own non-profit organization, investing some money in advertising, working with other races to get the word out, and finding sponsors that make sense for our cause…i.e., hospitals, assisted living facilities.
On a personal note, this race altered a situation that has been hell from the beginning and made it something constructive. Something that gave meaning to the pain that my family and I have felt over the passed ten years. It did not change my mom’s situation or cure the disease, but it has to be a step in the right direction.
We will be posting updates on our website as we have them. Please continue to support Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and Running 4 Answers.
The saddest part is, my story is not unique. Many who read this will have similar ones to tell. Noticing that my mom wasn’t quite right was a scary revelation. Realizing that it was happening at age 55 was terrifying. She was a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend…roles that she taught me how to do well. She was an avid reader and trivia buff. She was a registered nurse at a nursing home for 22 years, a job she enjoyed tremendously. She has lived in one now for 5 years. She is almost 66 years old.
Having lost my mother-in-law to breast cancer, I knew there were many ways to donate. Many ways to DO SOMETHING. As a runner, I found races that support breast cancer research. I looked for the same to support my mom. For a disease that affects xxxx million and continues to affect XXX every XXX seconds, I was shocked to find not one race benefitting Alzheimer’s disease. The feelings of helplessness grew.
This disease is devastating to watch, however there was nothing to do but watch.
As a personal trainer, I believe in change. Things can be different than they are now. I decided to change the lack of races. I reached out to my friend and fellow fitness enthusiast, Barbara Geiger, who has fundraising experience and asked if she would be interested in helping put something together. A race was born.
The name of the race started with Melissa Etheridge’s song in reference to breast cancer, “I Run for Life.” A song I love, we looked at the lyrics to spark some ideas. “Running for answers” is a line in that song. The second we read that line, we knew it was the race’s name. We lack answers. They are lacking in the research world and in our personal worlds. How often did I hope that the answer to the question, “Mom, do you know who I am?” would produce the right answer…or even AN answer.
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is exactly the type of organization that I was looking for. Their singular focus on research is what we all need.
This experience is exciting. Daunting. Beyond rewarding. I’m not just watching my mom in a nursing home. We are doing something. It alone will not solve the problem, but it is a step in the right direction.
This race offers the opportunity for YOU to do something, too. Run. Walk. Donate. Sponsor.