The Short Version: Continuing my quest to stay fit and encourage others to become physically active and eating healthier, I have joined the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton to raise charitable donations which will help the charity and allow me to run the revered Boston Marathon. Running the Boston Marathon on April 20, 2020 is a dream of mine and will be my 5th of 6 World Majors Marathons. Only leaving the NYC Marathon as my last World Major Marathon to run in order to become highly sought and rare honor of being a 6 Star World Marathon Majors Finishers. My Charity Team, The Boys and Girls Club of Newton provides social, academic and athletic programs for over 700 kids. I am honored to raising money for the Boys and Girls Club of Newton especially since my wife's Grandfather, Tom Ross was an Executive Director of a Philadelphia Boys and Girls Club for 18 years and this Charity is near and dear to my family. Please support me in this effort with your tax deductible donation for the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton.
- Antar C. Johnson, Esq.
The Full Version: Many of you know my story already but for those that do not, I have I have surprisingly become somewhat a fitness and health advocate for old and young people. I encourage family, friends, and many others who are connected with me on Facebook and Instagram to become more physically active to take charge of their health. It does not matter what the physical activity is yoga, dancing, hiking, biking, weightlifting, or running. Stop sitting and start moving! Regular cardio exercise and healthy eating help combat many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. At the age of 51, I am happy to say that I take no medication, and I have so far successfully fought off all three of those dreaded diseases which are prevalent in my family.
My commitment to health and fitness started after losing a mentor to a sudden heart attack, along with having my own health scare. It was only three years ago when I took the plunge and ran my first marathon. During my fitness and health journey, I have become an avid runner and have set the goal of running the Six World Majors Marathons (“WMM”) in Berlin, London, Tokyo, Chicago, New York, and Boston. There are only less than 6,500 people in the world who have completed all 6 WMM’s as of November 2019. Those that completed all 6 WMMs are called 6 Star Finishers. My goal is to become a member of this elite club and fulfill my passion to train, advocate for health and fitness, travel and meet people globally, all while raising money for great charitable causes that positively impact the lives of children.
To date, I have run the 2018 Berlin and the 2019 London World Marathons and raised funds to support Children with Cancer UK. In March 2020, I will be running in the Tokyo Marathon for World Vision Japan, a Japanese charity that provides clean drinking water to save the lives of children in Africa.
After completing the 2019 Chicago Marathon in October, I applied, interviewed, and was selected to join the 2020 Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Boston Marathon ® Team John M. Barry Boy’s & Girls Club of Newton (“Team BGC Newton”). I am being given the opportunity to raise funds for Newton BGC which ‘…inspires and enables young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens’ at the coveted Boston Marathon, the oldest, hardest, marathon of them all! It will take place on April 20, 2020, just seven days before my 52nd birthday. I have never thought I would be able to run in such an elite and historic race, especially this early in my running career.
My personal fundraising goal for Newton BGC is $7,500. This BAA Boston Marathon® Charity fundraiser and the race will be the most challenging to complete. However, knowing that ‘with every mile run and every dollar raised…,’ I am one of Team BGC Newton’s change agents ‘…for the more than 700 children and teen members, and the 2,600...’ annually served.
Fundraising for Newton BGC personally speaks to me and my family. As a kid who grew up in Richmond, CA, my sister and I would participate in after-school and summer programs offered at local organizations similar to BGC. These programs helped us both grow to become the socially responsible and philanthropic business professionals we are today. Moreover, I have a particular interest in raising funds for the BGC since my wife’s, Grandfather, Mr. Thomas H. Ross, was a career public servant who worked for the Boys and Girls Club for over 30 years. Mr. Ross spent his last 18 years as Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Wissahickon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am honored to raise charity funds for an organization that my wife’s family dedicated so many decades to.
With your support, your gift will allow the Newton BGC to continue to provide outcome-based programs that empower youth to become leaders and lifelong learners in a safe, nurturing setting under the guidance of caring adults. It is important to remember that no child or family is turned away for not being able to pay for services and that over 70% of the operating budget comes from charitable donations and fundraising.