Yeah, BaBy... $10,000- raised for Alexandria's Families!

Hi Friends, Family and Neighbors-

Still tired and a little overwhelmed, right now, with this RunningBrooke effort.  But feeling good.  Just want to get caught up in life ;D

Wednesday, was the 2010 Kickoff Party -- St. Patty's Style.  Irish Beers, Green Foods -- kind of hard to do -- and Lucky Charms...

We had about 75 people, and raised OVeR $10,000.00 for women and children in the City of Alexandria!

Below is my speech from that night.  Heartfelt and true.  Cheers!  It is a beautiful day for a run...

Hi Everyone, welcome.  Chris and I are so glad that you are here tonight.  Thanks for coming...

I'm Brooke, AKA RunningBrooke, AKA, ambassador of Alexandria - a title bestowed by Mayor Euille...

Most of you know that I've committed to running a marathon on every continent, in each of the 50 states and the 5 marathon majors -- one marathon a month.  

But, some of you may not know why, or how all of this got started...  

Basically, I started running:

         - turned 30, had three kids and had to get out of the house.  Fresh Air, time alone, peace and quiet, where no one could follow me...
         - had a life list, and running a marathon was on this list...
         - 9/11 happened and I figured that I better hurry up...

So, in 2002, I ran my my first marathon (MCM), with the initial goal of just finishing, without hurting myself.  But when I crossed that line with 'gas in the tank,' I resolved to run another marathon, better, and faster.  I did.  Then the goal was qualifying for Boston, which I did, and continued to do.  And then when running Boston became 'no big deal,' the goal was breaking a 3:10 marathon, which FINALLY I did after 4 tries, last October, at Steamtown, PA. 

But you see, ironically, the faster I got, the better the runner I became, the less my running, meant to me.  

After so many miles  --  I estimate that I've run well over 6,000 -- and so many marathons -- 19.

 I was looking to put meaning back into my running...

You see, after all these miles, I realized that LIFE is not all about me, my pace, and how fast I run.  It is about what I can do to make a difference, to make Alexandria a better place.

That's when I came up with this idea:  if I can commit to some ridiculous -- but achievable -- goal, I can legitimately ask generous people I know to match my commitment through charitable giving...

So in May of 2009, I partnered with ACT for Alexandria, started the RunningBrooke Fund and raised over $22,000 in the remainder of the year.   2009 took me around the world from Easter Island, Chile -- where I broke the tape as I was the first female finisher -- and across many states  -- and included one 50 mile race -- the historic JFK50.

In February of 2010, I granted most of that money -- $20,000 -- to Child and Family Network Centers.  It was incredibly, incredibly gratifying to me to touch so many lives!

LOOK AROUND AND SEE THE PICTURES of all the smiling faces the day I granted that money.  Because:

     --That meant that 36 kids and their families continued to receive services:  

FREE Preschool, FREE ESL classes, FREE job training and social services, like hearing and vision screening.  This is where your donation money is going.

In 2010, I started with a new goal.  To raise $50,000.

I started the year by contacting local Alexandria businesses to gain sponsorship.  These businesses 'laced up their shoes' and committed $1k a year for the next 5 years.  That means that the RunningBrooke Fund starts out each year with a healthy 10k in the bank.  I'd like to take a minute to recognize them now...  And if you'd raise your hand as I call your name, please...

            -- Murray Bonitt with Bonitt Builders, Shawn McLaughlin with McLaughlin Ryder Investments, Mark Anderson with Mark Anderson Consultants, Kathy Dalby with Pacers Events, a division of Pacers running stores, Mike McNair with McNair Travel, TJ Fannon with TJ Fannon & Sons,  Sean McEanerney and McEanerney Associates.   And I just learned tonight that Kerry Donley and Virginia Commerce Bank came through too.  Please take a minute to talk and say thanks to them.

In short, here is our pact our our community.  I do all the training and running.  I pay all my travel expenses and entry fees.  You reciprocate -- and REALLY make a tangible difference -- by opening up your checkbook and showing your commitment to the community.  Remember, your donation is 100% tax deductible and 100% of your donation goes to an Alexandria charity.

Again, thanks for coming.  You're support means a lot to me and a lot to the community!

I'll close with a little Irish poem.

As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point in the wrong direction!

Cheers.  It is a beautiful day for a run!


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