By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – When the thousands of runners gather on Monday, April 16 in Hopkinton for the start of the 122nd Boston Marathon, the staff and supporters of Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services will be paying extra attention. That’s because, thanks to the generosity of a donor who wishes to stay anonymous, three local runners were given a bib to participate in this year’s event to raise money for the nonprofit organization.
With a long waiting list of those who wish to receive services from SYFS, coupled with a move to a new facility later this month, the timing was perfect for this unexpected gift, Christine Mowry, SYFS’s Interim Executive Director said.
“SYFS is filled with gratitude towards both the anonymous donor of the Boston Marathon entries and the athletes who are pushing their physical and mental limits on our behalf,” she said. “We would not be able to provide the services we provide without the steadfast and unwavering support of our community, a community which we are humbled and proud to serve.”
Here, in their own words, the three athletes explain why they are running, their own fundraising goals, and links to how you can help.
“I am very honored and grateful to be running the 2018 Boston Marathon for SYFS. I have served as an ABA Technician in the Shrewsbury Public Schools for the past four years and I am excited to have an opportunity to give back to such a wonderful, supportive community. As a two time Boston Marathon finisher, I can attest to how amazing this race is, and this year will be extra special for me as I am running for such a deserving organization.” – https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/sarahs-2018-boston-marathon-run-for-shrewsbury-youth-and-family-services
“I grew up in Auburn- right next door to Shrewsbury! I have always been an active person, playing team sports my whole life. After college, I missed being so active and found myself lost! My uncle introduced me to running. He is a very busy man with a full-time job, six children, and a foster parent; helping families in need whenever he and his family can. Running was his time until I started to tag along! I ran my first ever road race and half marathon with him! Watching him run the Boston Marathon and help so many families year after year has inspired me to get out there and run all while doing it for a cause! This year I get to run the Boston Marathon (my first marathon!!) on behalf of SYFS! I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am hoping to raise $5,000 to help families in my community and make my uncle proud”
“When my cousin, Judith Tully-McManus, an LICSW with SYFS, asked me about running this year’s Boston Marathon to raise money for the agency, I honestly had to think about it. My 50th birthday is in early April, I haven’t run anything more than a half marathon, I’m slow, and there were only 10 weeks to train (vs. the recommended 20). Was it a realistic goal for me? After researching run/walk training plans (I at least knew that I would need walk intervals), I explored my emotional reasons, and came up with these: 1) My father died when he was 49, 3 months before his 50th birthday, and I’ve come to truly understand just how young he was. What better way to celebrate my own half-century while honoring his than to push myself to do something that scares me and seems impossible? 2) The mission of the SYFS is one that resonates strongly with me, so I am grateful to have the chance to help; 3) I may never get this opportunity again, so roll with it. It may take me six hours to finish, but I’ll still get the finisher’s medal. Life is short, so eat the cake and run the marathon.”