June 1st, 2019 will mark 14 years since I lost my Dad to suicide. The same number of years I was when he died. Which means, every day after 6/1/19 I will live longer without my Dad then the time I had with him. During this monumental year, I’ll be honoring my Dad, Sgt. Keith C. Lee, by running the 2019 Boston Marathon for the Boston Police Foundation.
My Dad loved his family. But a close second was his career and identity as a police officer. My Dad served as an officer at Ithaca College for 25 years and coined the nickname “Officer Friendly”. He dedicated his life to protecting and serving and, in the process, taught me hard work, dedication, compassion and kindness, even in 14 short years.
I learned about the Boston Police Foundation through its partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a cause I’ve long been dedicated to. The Boston Police Foundation was created to provide private financial support for critically needed resources to the Boston Police Department, the oldest department in the country. Donations to the Foundation help fund officer wellness and safety, special equipment, advanced training, new technology and youth outreach programs not covered in its annual budget. All things my Dad would have fought for, for any police officer.
Resources like these are critical in supporting police officers and the benefit can be life-saving. My goal in fundraising for the Boston Police Foundation is to support initiatives that can prevent other families from losing their loved one in uniform and of course, to honor my hero.
Together, we can back up Boston’s finest. #DoItForDad