More than $5 million raised during event held Sunday, October 27 in Arlington, Va. and nation's capital
QUANTICO, Va. - Charities who partner with the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) annually enjoy the fruits of their fundraising while runners successfully train on behalf of significant causes. This year, MCM charity runners have gone far above expectations garnering just over $5 million dollars for 131 charitable organizations. These efforts have resulted in an overall charitable increase in excess of $1.5 million raised over last year's marathon event.
The MCM held on Oct. 27 in Arlington, VA and throughout the nation's capital hosted 7,100 affiliated runners. Each MCM Charity Partner enlisted between 25 and 750 runners to participate in either the marathon (26.2 mile) or MCM10K (6.2 mile) while raising money for their cause. Many charities required runners to only raise a few hundred dollars in order to participate in "The People's Marathon." But runners enthusiastically superseded charity goals, with some raising as much as $10,000 to $20,000 individually.
"One of our runners raised $15,000 this year, which was impressive since we had a $300 fundraising requirement," said Douglas Taggart of Azalea Charities Inc. The Azalea charity team included 248 participants who raised a total of $149,763 at this year's MCM. Azalea Charities provides aid for Wounded Warriors internationally, while also supporting youth and special needs projects in Northern Virginia. The charity has participated in the MCM for the past six years.
The Fisher House Foundation has been a Charity Partner for the past eight MCMs, achieving what can be called a "return on investment" as nearly 20 percent of Fisher House runners return to participate in the MCM year after year. As one of the larger MCM Charity Partners, Fisher House raised $450,000 at this year's MCM while achieving a $20,000 increase over the amount raised last year. Fisher House Program Director Cathy Cabrey believes their continued success at the MCM is also due to 350 Fisher House volunteers who are stationed throughout the marathon course ringing cow bells, cheering on their team of runners and even volunteering at a water point along the marathon course. "Our runners are very happy with the on-course support we offer our team," Cabrey says. "From about Mile 10 to 26, volunteers are cheering on our runners."
Both Cabrey and Taggart immediately jumped on the opportunity to partner with the MCM as 2014 Charity Program information recently was distributed to all of the organizations. "I signed on just twenty minutes after the MCM Charity Program opened," said Taggart. "We are very happy to be with the Marine Corps Marathon, which in turn helps us support our Wounded."
Because Charity Partners responded so quickly, the MCM is no longer able to enroll new charity teams for the 2014 marathon but charities still can acquire team entries for the Marine Corps Historic Half that will be held on Sunday, May 18 in Fredericksburg, VA. In spring of 2014, runners will be able to affiliate with organizations to acquire access to the 39th MCM on Oct. 26.
"Charity runners bring great heart and enthusiasm to 'The People's Marathon,'" says Director Rick Nealis. "We are pleased to engage with these organizations through the MCM and Historic Half in support of their significant causes."
Charity organizers interested in obtaining entries for the Marine Corps Historic Half should contact MCM Charity Coordinator Allan Aquino at allan.aquino@usmcmil or (703) 432-1241.
The 39th MCM will open online lottery registration to the public on Feb. 23 at: www.marinemarathon.com