By Dayana Sarkisova
Chicago, IL – In a time when tragedy runs rampant, and we refresh our respective feeds bracing ourselves for the next harrowing report, it is important to not let the goodness that emerges in these dark times slip through the cracks.
“One Fund Boston” is a charitable organization announced by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, which will raise money for those most affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Exemplifying the very meaning of unity, a core group of running industry insiders came together to create ways to support One Fund Boston and show the industry's solidarity with Monday's victims. Among these events’ creators were some of Chicago’s very own, including Dave Zimmer, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Chicago; Kris Hartner, owner of Naperville Running; and the six Dick Pond's locations in the suburbs.
Runners and non-runners alike will have the opportunity to support the admirable cause by purchasing a T-shirt created in support of the people of Boston. Simply stating, “Runners for Boston” alongside a heart, 100 percent of the proceeds from the T-shirt sales will directly benefit One Fund Boston.
In addition, the creators of the T-shirt will be hosting a commemorative “fun run” held on the one-week anniversary of the Boston Marathon, with the support of the Independent Running Retailers Association (IRRA). Runners across the country will be coming together at this time to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon and exemplify the strength of their sport’s community.
"It was a terrible thing," Glen Kamps, manager of the St. Charles Dick Pond's, said. "How sad for them. It's something that impacted so many people. I'm sure there are medical bills that need to be paid or missed days of work or that. Imagine what losing a leg would do to your life.
"So everybody just decided to get together and it kind of took on a life of its own. It's been moving very quickly...It's nice to try to get everybody thinking of Boston and helping and supporting and rallying. The interest has been overwhelming."
Both Fleet Feet’s Old Town store and Lincoln Square locations will be hosting the commemorative event, along with other running stores throughout the city. Suburban runners can head to any of the six Dick Pond's locations to take part. The event will take place Monday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Runners are being encouraged to wear any past or present Boston Marathon gear, the iconic Boston Marathon blue and yellow, or any race shirt.
Tony Andracki contributed to this story.