Why go the charity route?
I've previously discussed my interest in Fisher House and my selection of this organization for my first marathon for charity. Fisher House spoke to me which was greatly advantageous when I was talking to friends and family about my fundraising efforts. It was easy for me to articulate the benefits of the organization and it helps that they have an extremely high rating on Charity Navigator.
Team Fisher House provided great support and resources from the day I signed on to their team to the week after the race. I was incredibly impressed with the level of engagement with their fundraisers. I received several phone calls from the TFH staff to check in with me and see how the fundraising and training was going. During each phone call, they were incredibly positive and expressed their appreciation for my fundraising efforts. In addition, they also were interested in hearing about what I needed whether it was information on the race, fundraising, training, or Fisher House. After each call, I always found myself smiling and feeling really excited for the race and participation with Team Fisher House.
|Mile 24 sucked but I couldn't help but smile for the|
Team Fisher House photographer on the course!
|A view of the resources provided to fundraisers! It was very helpful!|
As a member of Team Fisher House, each participant was provided with a team jersey to wear on race day, a hat, and pin a few months before the race. In addition, you received a team bag when you checked in at the expo. Once you raised $600, you also received a team jacket when you checked in at the expo. At the expo, you also were presented with a Team Fisher House medal. While the presentation may have lacked the ceremony of receiving a medal at the finish line, I group this medal with the one I received from the Marine at the finish line...not only did I train for the physical part of this race, I also crossed the finish line of my fundraising.
|Picking up my swag at the expo! I'm holding the team bag.|
Race Weekend Events
Team Fisher House had a HUGE booth at the Marine Corps Marathon expo which was a great place for everyone on the fundraising team to get their gear and meet others on the team. There were also plenty of things for spectators - cowbells, cow hats and signs.
|A view of the Team Fisher House booth at the Marine Corps Marathon expo.|
Like most fundraising teams, there was a a team dinner before the race. My parents, Adam, and I purchased tickets to attend. The dinner was very reasonable at $10 per person and there was ample pasta for the runners. We heard information about both the Fisher House and the race teams and the top individual and team fundraisers. The evening closed with a presentation from the Scott family who had stayed in a Fisher House. Let's just say there weren't many dry eyes during Lilly Scott's account of their experience at the San Antonio Fisher House. Her story was a great reminder of why we spent hours writing emails, making phone calls, posting to social media, and whatnot requesting donations. I appreciated hearing their account firsthand and was so humbled to run for them and hundreds of other Military families.
|Leaving the team dinner, Champ the Cow wished me well!|
The tent on Charity Hill was fabulous for pre- and post-race festivities. The food was plentiful and there were plenty of places to sit. And it was wonderful to be able to check your bag there before the race and not have to meander through Rosslyn after the race to retrieve it! Before the race, there were bagels, donuts, bananas, water, and Gatorade. After the race, there was every option you could imagine - bagels, fruit, cookies, subs, wings, chips, etc. There were massage therapists in the tent to help work your aching muscles. Sadly, I never took advantage of this because I got a bit cold after the race and decided to head back the the hotel for a warm shower before my name was called. Regardless, the tent provided a great place to meet other team members and reunite with your family after the race. The volunteers were helpful and supportive.
While I haven't decided what my next race will be, I would consider running for Team Fisher House again in a heartbeat! It was a fantastic experience!
Have you ever run for a charity team? What was the best part?