I am so honored to be a member of the Dream Big! Boston Marathon Team for 2016! Dream Big! works to provide girls from low-income and homeless situations with the equipment, uniforms, athletic footwear, program fees, training expenses, sports opportunities and the supplies they need to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being.
In April 2016 the Dream Big! Marathon Team, made up of 17 runners from around the world, will take to the start line of the Boston Marathon to help breakdonw the economic barrier that prevents thousands of girls from low-income situations from participating in sports and physical activities.
Why am I running for Dream Big!?
Outside of my supportive parents, athletics have been the single biggest influence in my life. I've had the joy of seeing the benefits of sports firsthand both as an athlete and now as a coach. Athletics, at any level of competition or age, provide girls the oportunity to be a member of a team. It gives the chance to fall in love with a sport and learn the invaluable lessons of hard work and working with others.
As a kid I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to particpate in many sports! There was always a ball, a practice or a game I was running around at whether it was softball, soccer, basketball or volleyball. But, from the second I stepped on the field as a 5 year old with a ballcap, I've fallen in love with the game of softball and never looked back. For the last four years I've been a pitcher for the Harvard University Softball team! Upon graduation this past spring, I moved over to the other side the game and took a position at Boston University as an Assistant Softball coach. I now have the pleasure of positively impacting, teaching and supporting female athletes through sports at Boston University and couldn't be happier! I found my passion on a dirt field almost two decades ago with softball because I was given the equipment and opportunity to participate in sports from a young age, an opportunity that should be availiable to all girls.
In Memory of Lisa Ricciardone
No matter the sport, my mother was my biggest fan and supporter. My sophomore year in college she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Despite the numerous surgeries, chemotherapy treatments and procesdures she sustained, she rarely missed a game with me on the mound for the Crimson. From my days as a kid playing any sport I could sign up for, her and my father made sure I had everything I needed to not only participate, but excel. My senior fall, my mother passed away, unable to see my final season as a college athlete. To honor her strength, spirit, and legacy, I am running the 2016 Boston Marathon to ensure the future of girls who want to participate in athletics. Because, girls can and should pursue any athletic venture they want and not be limited by financial demands.
How can you help?
Over the past four years Dream Big! has had a direct impact on more than 15,000 girls in need through equipment donations, program scholarships, sports clinics and the Dream Big! Leadership Conferences for middle and high school female athletes.
No contribution is too small and every single one helps us reach our goal! Here are some suggestions to help Dream Big! continue to make an impact.
$35 will purchase a regulation soccer ball or basketball
$50 will purchase a pair a new pair of sneakers or cleats
$100 pays for an 8-week dance or fitness class for 1 girl
$200 pays for a new bike and helmet
$500 pays for a week long summer sports camp
$1000 pays for new uniforms, equipment and training for an entire sports team
With your help, we can ensure that Dream Big! has $6,500 to provide girls from low-income situations with the opportunity to fall in love with sports and have athletics positively influence their life.