'Moms Run' raises $30K for Boston

by SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

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Members of the local chapter of Moms Run This Town show off their Run Remember Boston t-shirts before their Thursday evening run. Pictured are, left to right: front row - Lindsey Hausmann, Dana DeGennaro, Pam Burrus, Lori Runco, Yuka Yamauchi and Shelida Gray. Back - shirt printer Stirling Innis, Mara Lockard, Tanya McWilliams, Stacey Morgart, Darbi Lynn, and Lindsay and Conor Potts.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon shocked all Americans. 

But for those who run, it was particularly poignant. 

Cowetan Pam Burrus, founder of running club Moms Run This Town, had been watching television coverage of the marathon as she worked. Then she read a post from a friend about the bombing. 

“Brokenhearted just doesn’t even describe how I felt when the events at Boston took place,” Burrus said. “Three days later, after watching coverage non-stop, I’m left brokenhearted and devastated for these families, for the morale of runners, for the morale of the country. I wanted to help. I knew I couldn’t fix it but I knew I could do something.”

She posted on the Moms Run This Town Facebook page about doing a fundraiser and got a huge response. 

“I’m just a fund raiser. I love raising money for stuff,” Burrus said. “I was like, OK, what can we do? So I started playing around with designs.”

Burrus, who dabbles in graphic design, created a blue and yellow ribbon design, saying “Never Forget Boston,” and used it as her profile photo on Facebook.

“It went viral. Strangers were putting it as their profile pic,” she said.

She decided putting some designs on t-shirts would be the best way to make money. 

She made up two designs and called the folks at Recover Brands in North Carolina. She had met them at the Asheville Marathon. She talked to them about printing up some shirts.

“All this happened within a matter of about 24 hours,” Burrus said. 

She asked the folks at Recover about it. “He said, ‘how many are you thinking?” she said.

She was thinking maybe 200 or so.

“He said within the first hour we had 1,000 shirts sold,” Burrus said.

By the next day, there were 1,500 orders. Eventually, Recover had to bow out because they couldn’t handle any more orders. 

Local company Stirling Promotions stepped in and is now making the shirts. There are also magnets and silicone wristbands available. 

“It was crazy how many we sold,” Burrus said. “I was hoping to raise a couple of thousands dollars. I had no idea it was going to be over $30,000.”

T-shirt buyers came from all over the country, and beyond.

“I think it’s great that we do this to show our support for runners all over the country,” said club member Darbi Lynn. “And it’s an awesome way to unite with other people.”

Most money raised for victims of the marathon bombing is going to The One Fund. But Burrus wanted something a little more focused. 

 A MRRT chapter leader in Warner Robbins then told her about Scott Rigsby. 

Rigsby, a double amputee, was three minutes from finishing the Boston Marathon when the bomb went off. Rigsby has a foundation that is dedicated to “inspire, inform and enable individuals with loss of limb or mobility to live an active lifestyle.”

The foundation works to improve access to prosthetic and orthotic care and resources. The foundation has created the Aid for Boston fund, and money raised will be directed to individuals based on their financial needs for prosthetic care and rehabilitation. Rigsby also plans to personally engage with the victims. 

Burrus said that after Rigsby lost his legs, he tried to kill himself. 

“Those amputees have a lot more issues than just paying hospital bills,” Burrus said. “His goal is to get up to Boston and spend time with them, be available to them, help them through this time and let them know this is not over.”

Burrus and some of her fellow club members plan to personally present the money to Rigsby sometime this week. 

The shirts will be for sale for at least another week or two. 

Visit www.momsrunthistown.com for more information. Click on Ways to help Boston to order a shirt or magnet. 




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