The Alzheimer’s Association has local Chapters across the Nation providing vital programs and services in the community. While the Alzheimer’s Association’s role with the Fifth Third River Bank Run is new this year, our partnership with the Chicago and Boston Marathons, dates back many years. These events, along with many other races throughout the U.S. has helped raised awareness and vital funds for our mission.
We wanted to share with you an email that was sent to us from our sister chapter in Boston. Their spirit is strong and together, we will continue to run and raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s!
As the immediate crisis in the greater Boston area has come to a conclusion, I want to extend appreciation on behalf of our staff and volunteers for the many expressions of concern we have received through the week from chapters throughout the country and from our national staff.
This has been a tragic and trying week, both here in Massachusetts and for our colleagues in Texas.
As some of you may know, our MA/NH Chapter was quite active in Monday’s Boston Marathon. We had a 27 member running team and approximately 200 volunteers and staff along the route. Although we had some very close calls, none of our athletes, volunteers or family members were physically injured in the terrorist attacks. Tragically, this was not true for everyone; three spectators lost their lives and nearly 200 others were injured, some quite seriously. Our hearts go out to all the victims of this weeks attacks.
Our chapter staff was extremely poised and focused after the explosions. We quickly implemented a thorough effort to make contact with each runner. With cell service shut down in Boston and much chaos at the finish line, this was very challenging. It wasn’t until early Tuesday morning that we knew all of our athletes were safe.
We spent the week working our way through a recovery process until Friday and the day long pursuit and capture of the two suspects. The town of Watertown, a suburb of Boston and the location of our central office was on lock down all day. With some quick work early Friday morning, we were able to reach all of our staff and instruct them to stay home.
Yesterday was a very long day in metropolitan Boston. Once again the events touched us personally. The husband of one of our staff was among the law enforcement officers who was part of yesterday’s action. We were all relieved to learn that he returned home safely.
Boston is a great and beautiful city. It is inspiring to see how such a traumatic series of events can unite the residents of this region. We look forward to welcoming many of you in mid July as AAIC comes to Boston.
In the wake of this ongoing crisis it is easy to forget that we had 27 athletes who trained through one of our coldest and wettest winters to compete in our Boston Marathon. They wore their Alzheimer’s Association singlets proudly, were spurred on by over 500,000 cheering spectators and raised a record amount of funds to support our mission. All week these impressive athletes have been exchanging emails, offering support to one another and pledging to “Run Boston” again next year.
I want to share excerpts of the remarks from one of our runners (with his permission), written the day after the Marathon. Like many of our runners he was unable to finish the race because the Marathon was shut down after the blasts. But he felt compelled to complete the remaining 1.4 miles of his marathon. This is from Ted:
I set out to finish the 26.2 miles yesterday. I did it on my street, and I did it in my Alzheimer’s singlet with my number still attached. We set out on this journey with the Association, joining in its mission to end Alzheimer’s, to finish the job. This team is amazing because of the many different voices and personalities but the similar determination of its members. I think we should all try to finish the job. If you didn’t get to 26.2, give it a shot when the body allows – rock that purple singlet like you’ve never rocked it before – and show the people who drive by looking at you funny and wondering what race you veered off course from that your commitment to this cause knows no embarrassment. It helped me close the book on what was otherwise an amazing training and fundraising year getting to know a remarkable group of people.
Thank you all for your commitment, your friendship, and your inspiration. Soon I’ll remember those things much more than the evil that happened on Boylston Street. Peace,Teddy
President & CEO
Alzheimer’s Association®, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter
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