Running the Marathon for a Reason

Running the Marathon for a Reason

Running the Marathon for a Reason

There are twenty four charities that have partnered with the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon. I doubt any other marathon in the country offers this many to choose from. Go to the marathon’s web site: or look at an entry form and find a charity that connects with you. Then plan to support it while you run or walk. Every dollar makes a difference whether you raise pledges or just donate yourself. I promise it will make an impact on your performance.

Here are a few reasons to run:

The American Heart Association is committed to fighting heart disease and stroke and raising awareness. A few initiatives include: Start! a national campaign that promotes physical activity through workplace walking programs helping employees to reduce their risks. Go Red For Women celebrates the energy, passion and power of women to band together and wipe out heart disease. Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s goal is to stop the nationwide increase in childhood obesity by 2010. Power to End Stroke is a movement to educate and empower African Americans about stroke, one of their number one killers.

Think Detroit PAL wants to make Detroit a great place to be a kid and raise a family. In partnership with the Detroit Police Department, Think Detroit PAL builds character in young people through athletic, academic, and leadership development programs. They annually serve nearly 13,000 kids with the help of over 1,300 volunteers. They run seasonal leagues, camps, and clinics in 11 different sports and offer summer leadership camps for middle school students. TDP operates community centers offering educational and recreational programs for hundreds of children during non-school hours and provide after-school tutoring programs at multiple Detroit elementary schools. They have been involved with the marathon for the past four years and raised over $60,000 with the support of Ford Motor Company.

Marathon Mission is a premier faith and community based umbrella charity that began in 2003 with the marathon. Marathon Mission is for walkers and joggers (of all ages and abilities) to raise support for the plethora of outstanding missionaries and charitable workers, both stateside and abroad. Marathon Mission believes that "Great causes attract great people!" Among them are food banks, orphanages, scholarships for inner city youth, numerous church outreaches, and a wide array of compassionate community initiatives.

The ACLU of Michigan (ACLU-M) is the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union organization. Its mission is to enforce the Bill of Rights and advance its principles. Through a variety of public education programs, their legislative and litigation programs based in Lansing are supported almost entirely by volunteer attorneys. The ACLU has earned widespread respect and love for its defense of the constitution and for taking a consistent and firm stand on its principles. The Freedom Runners will be participating in the Run for a Reason, 5-person relay event for the first time.

Last year, Rajesh Bihani ran the marathon and raised over $7,000 for Autism Society of America, Oakland County Chapter (ASA/OCC) which was used to support various projects in special education classrooms. This year more than 40 people are joining marathon through the organization. Every team member has been inspired by someone on the autism spectrum. They see a lot of parallels in their training and the way a person with autism perseveres to learn a skill or complete a task.

The Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, (DIO) has been assisting the visually impaired and blind in the tri-county area. DIO has initiated a new program entitled, "Lend an Arm" where a visually impaired walker or runner is paired with a sighted walker or runner to participate in either the 5K, or half marathon.

First time Run for a Reason participant, Judson Center began as an orphanage in 1924. Today, they daily serve over 2,400 individuals in six counties by providing forever families for children through adoption, foster and residential care and when life gets hard through counseling, respite care and autism services. They also help adults with disabilities achieve their dreams through supported independent living and employment.

The Livonia Save Our Youth Task Force is a new organization founded by Diane Montes, a youth minister in the St. Genevieve parish, whose son Brian, a student at Michigan State, died after injecting fentanyl. Their mission is a grassroots effort to educate and empower the community in an effort to address the issues that affect the health and safety of our young people with a focus on alcohol and other drugs. The Task Force is comprised of a group of Livonia area parents, teens, educators and professional helpers.

The Rosemary A. Hockney Memorial Foundation is a leader in providing solutions to the challenges children and those who love and care for them face when confronted with cancer. Three out of every four families are affected by cancer. The foundation comes in great part from volunteers that are made up of survivors of cancer, bereaved families, educators, business leaders and health care professionals.

Run to Remember raises funds for the National Hospice Foundation. Runners and walkers participate in memory of a loved one who has dies and the names are custom printed on the back of their shirts. Run to Remember rises dollars for end-of-life care when there is no cure.

The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis - NFL Hall of Fame linebacker, Nick Buoniconti co-founded The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after his son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. The Miami Project has become the world's largest, most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) has reached out to the public through participation in marathons all over the country including Detroit. They are the leading voice for the millions of children locked in the silence, fear and isolation imposed by addiction that not only controls their families and their lives, but is so devastating to their healthy development. NACoA provides direct service organizations and professionals who work with children, including adult children of alcoholics with the tools they need to identify and provide early intervention, bringing hope and healing to millions of hurting children.