In 2000, Jeannine and Steve Marks were looking for a way to tie their joy of running with their desire to support charitable organizations. That’s when they came up with the idea of establishing an Akron Marathon.
They created a business plan, wrote down best practices from races in other cities they had been to, and talked to the city of Akron. Three years later, in 2003, the first Akron Marathon was held.
They’re thrilled to see how it has grown into a world-class event, with runners from 20 different countries and all 50 states, and they continue to improve it.
Every year, the marathon donates all proceeds to charitable organizations through grants and requests. Recently they added the Blue Line Charity Partner program as another arm of community support.
“The charity partner program gives organizations more of an opportunity to collaborate with the marathon to raise funds and awareness,” Jeannine said. “It’s a great way to highlight the local organizations that are doing great work in the community. We really embrace our charity partners.”
The mission of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corp. is to provide a world-class marathon that promotes health and fitness, stimulates the local economy, galvanizes the community, and benefits charitable organizations.
As a member of Akron Children’s Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center’s community leadership team, Jeannine encouraged the Haslinger Center to apply as a 2014 Blue Line Charity Partner. It was selected in addition to 9 other organizations.
The more a charity partner is involved, the larger the donation from the Akron Marathon. Charity partners generate involvement by starting their own fundraising campaign and recruiting runners and volunteers to select them.
If you’re interested in volunteering, running or fundraising on behalf of the Haslinger Center, contact Lisa Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-543-3343. Donations to the Haslinger Center’s Akron Marathon campaign can also be made at www.CrowdRise.com/HaslingerPalliativeCare.
The 2014 Akron Marathon is set for Saturday, Sept. 27.