BENEFITING: CHICAGO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Oct 12, 2014
Ashley Tomzik wrote -
I will be running the Chicago Marathon this October in memory of Michael McGrath and raising money for the Michael McGrath, Sr. Memorial Fund, benefiting the Community Crisis Center of Elgin. If you were lucky enough to know Mr. McGrath (a.k.a. "Big Mike"), you would know that he was one of the most kind, light-hearted, sincere, hard-working, and compassionate people around - a great husband and an amazing father. I have known the McGrath family since I was a little girl, when he coached his daughter Jenna and I on our travelling soccer team. Jenna and I became very good friends and I soon felt like part of the family. In 2010, after a long hard fight against breast cancer, Mrs. McGrath passed away. It was an extremely difficult time for the family, and it was very painful to see them go through it. However, Big Mike became the glue that held the family together. Although he had lost the love of his life, his strength was unbelievable. He was so incredibly positive and looked for the good in everything. He was always there for his children, good times and bad. Last October, I received a call from Jenna. She informed me that her father had suffered a heart attack and did not survive. I can honestly say that that day was the worst day of my life. Since then, there is not a day that I do not think about him. Jenna and her brother and sister have remained incredibly strong, a trait I am sure they inherited from both their parents. As I set out on my 26.2 mile race, I can only hope to have a fraction of the strength that Big Mike had throughout his life. I know he and Donna will be keeping me safe and pushing me through the whole time. This one's for you, Big Mike. I love you.
Marthon for Big Mike benefits the Community Crisis Center in Elgin, IL, where Mr. McGrath was a long-time supporter and frequent volunteer. The Community Crisis Center in Elgin aids Chicago area individuals and families that need it most – those that are victims of domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault, or financial difficulties that have led to homelessness and despair. Please note that the Michael McGrath, Sr. Fund is housed at the Chicago Community Foundation. All funds will be submitted to the Chicago Community Foundation, then re-allocated to the Community Crisis Center.