I could be the last person signing up to run the 2019 Boston Marathon.
And I sincerely ask you to join me by sponsoring my run for a very worthy cause.
On Monday, March 25, my Dad called to ask if I had heard the tragic news of the passing of Jeremy Richman, a Newtown CT father who on December 14, 2012 lost his six-year old daughter, Avielle, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
My Dad, who manages the John Hancock Boston Marathon sponsorship, had one last guaranteed entry he was contemplating for philanthropic use. It was during that contemplation that the news broke about Jeremy Richman. Dad began to consider who he knew who could, with three weeks until Marathon Monday, lace-up and make the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston for a great cause. His first thought was me and I immediately accepted the challenge. So, on April 15, I will run the 123rd Boston Marathon to benefit The Avielle Foundation.
In Jeremy Richman’s own words:
“The Mission of the Avielle Foundation is to prevent violence and build compassion through neuroscience research, community engagement, and education.
“The Avielle Foundation accomplishes this mission by directing efforts and resources in two areas that we feel are really two sides of the same coin. First, we support breakthrough neuroscience research, bridging biochemical and behavioral sciences, and making the neurosciences a prestigious and lucrative life endeavor. But knowing is not enough, we must apply our findings and understanding. Therefore, our second area of focus is community engagement and education initiatives that empower youth, parents, teachers, health care providers, law enforcement – the everyday citizen – to advocate for brain health in themselves and others.
“The foundation is named in honor of Avielle. Avielle Rose Richman was, at the time, our only daughter and one of 26 children and educators tragically murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14th, 2012. My wife Jennifer and I are infinitely heart broken. In the years since the murder of our beautiful six year old daughter, our heartbreak has been repeated with hundreds of school shootings in the United States, not to mention the daily occurrences of homicide and suicide on our streets and in our homes. Violence, in its myriad forms, is an epidemic that plagues our country. With half of the world’s children and one in five of the developed world’s adults victimized each year, you’d be hard pressed to find someone whose life has not been directly touched by violence, to self or to others.
“We miss Avielle more each and every day, and like so many of you, we want to bring about changes to stop this epidemic of violence. We want to prevent tragedies like these from happening to any community — ever again. The Avielle Foundation has been created in honor of our loving daughter — along with all the others who fall victim to violence — to foster an understanding of what leads someone to engage in harmful behavior, the risk factors, and conversely to identify and engender protective factors that lead away from violence and toward compassion, kindness, connection, community, and resilience. We are working with world leaders in four broad areas: brain health research, public health, community engagement, and education.”
In memory of Jeremy Richman and his daughter Avielle Rose Richman, I will run the Marathon for their family’s Foundation and a cause that unites good-hearted people.
If you can support this effort with a contribution to The Avielle Foundation, I’ll be grateful and honored.
With every good wish,