Friday, January 6, 2012

Racing For A Cause - Youth Suicide Prevention

I am not one to ring in the new year with hopes of keeping a resolution. I am one to continually make goals, regardless of the date and adhere to those goals, no matter the obstacles. If I'm committed to something I will RARELY do anything but stay committed. I don't like the word "resolution". I'd much prefer "goal". I'm a goal setter. I'm a planner. I specifically plan to reach the goals I set. If you fail to plan, you must plan to fail, correct?

In the year 2012, these are the goals I will accomplish:
  • Hyannis Marathon (2/26) in 4:10 or less
  • Bradley 10K (April) with a placement overall or in my age group
  • Iron Horse Half Marathon (June) in 1:50 or less
  • Hartford Marathon (October) in 4:00 or less

While meeting the above goals, I will raise money for a cause. I've been running for years now, all for the purpose of ME and ME alone. I guess my family benefits too since running keeps me sane. But generally speaking I have been selfish. Why not run for a cause?

Now, if you know me I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Among other things, I think several non-profit organizations out there are not in it for the awareness raising and the "finding a cure". Organizations like Susan G. Komen hit the proverbial lotto when they introduced that trendy little pink ribbon of their's... Now everyone wants to wear pink. Where does the money they raise actually go though? $500,000 went to the former president's salary in 2010. For a non-profit, that bitch sure is profiting. Komen's total revenue in 2010 was $311,000,000!!! Wow! So why is there no cure for breast cancer yet? Because fat cats at the top of the Komen ladder bank too much off of the revenue. Their jobs would be obsolete without cancer. So would the oncology units in hospitals, and the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and not to mention the swag manufacturers that brainwash you into thinking you're making a difference when buying that stupid pink key chain. The list goes on.

Ok, so the most of the money they raise goes to raising awareness and to research. Did you know that the Komen Foundation has been around since 1982, but there have been no significant advancements in treatment or screening breast cancer since 1981? I dare you to enlighten yourselves. Do the research...

So I digress... What I am trying to convey in my long rant is that I don't want to raise money for such an organization that is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. I'm not a minion in pink, or yellow or purple or blue. The money I raise will go directly to the cause.

My sister Melissa is a PAL (Police Athletic League) Officer in Las Vegas. She works with kids (most are under the poverty line and under privileged) in the community to enrich their lives, encourage, empower and teach them. Being so close to the kids in her community, she is reminded daily that childhood is not always rainbows and butterflies. These kids are poor, bullied, abused, undereducated. Only a few will finish high school and fewer will graduate college.

In Las Vegas, the youth suicide rate is among the highest in the country. Only a few weeks ago, Melissa shared with me that within days of each other, a 10 year old and a 13 year old in Las Vegas took their own lives. They were just babies! But old enough to believe their lives were never going to improve. Was it depression? Bullying? What led them to thinking there was no other way out?

Knowing of these two kids and what they did hit me hard. I began to think that maybe I can make a difference to help eliminate this epidemic. It's still a taboo issue in some communities which perhaps isn't a good thing. Education and awareness to this issue needs to be priority.

So, let it be known that the money I raise in 2012 will all go to a foundation synonymous with educating communities on the signs and prevention of suicidal behavior, supporting victims effected by familial suicide, and other initiatives.

I'm still researching which organization I will end up with but stay tuned! My first race is at the end of February. I expect to narrow in on an organization before then and get the ball rolling with fundraising!


  1. Awesome! That was one of my goals this year: The Year Of Giving! I want to do something with the races. I'm helping (at least) three first timers cross the half marathon finish line in March. I'm raising money for poverty in Africa. Let's do it! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  2. Emily sent me. Great idea, good for you. I look forward to reading more!

  3. Love this Steph! The beginning actually sounds a lot like my latest post I had been writing but hadn't published yet (resolution vs. goals). I had no idea about all that Komen stuff - glad I learned something but I wish it wasn't such a rotten thing to learn about! Let me know what I can do to help out!

  4. Thanks everyone for your support!!!