For next year's Boston Marathon, several Brookline non-profits will team up to benefit from local runners--and they will do so with the help of Brookline Community Mental Health Center (BCMHC), which is running the Team Brookline program.
The Center, and the Town, will start accepting applications for both runners and non-profits interested in participating in Team Brookline today, Sept. 18, according to a press release from the BCMHC sent yesterday afternoon.
"We really see this as an opportunity to increase the impact of the waivers, and what it will mean for people within the community who need the support." BCMHC Vice President for Development Nancy Vineberg explained, "That, ultimately, is what the Marathon program has been all about, it's using a resource that's given to a town, and increasing the value of that resource through the runners' fundraising, and then figuring out ways of actually matching those funds to organizations that need it.
For each Boston Marathon, the town receives a handful of racing numbers, or waivers, each year--many of which previously went to the BCMHC's runners. Under the new program, BCMHC would recruit, train and support runners from a number of non-profit organizations from Brookline--including their own--with the aim of making a more community-wide program.
"I think of the Center as more of a conduit," Vineberg added.
Runners will also meet with fundraising coaches from the Center to learn more about raising funds for their organizations.
Said Vineberg, "That's part of it. The beauty of being part of a team is that you have the camaraderie, you have the physical training support, and you have the fundraising support."
Each runner will be assigned to raise money individual non-profit entities in town, such as the Senior Center or Community Housing, and funds raised by those runners will go to the organizations for which the are running.
Larger organizations can also sponsor the entire team, and those sponsorships will be divided among the beneficiary organizations.
"No one wakes up in the morning and decides to run a marathon, without having trained for it. The same thing goes for fundraising: no one wakes up in the morning and goes 'hey, I'm going to raise $5,000.' It's something that, there's an existing art and science behind it, and we know what it is."
The Team plans to hire a coach who will create individual running plans for team members, as well as organizing regular runs leading up to the big race. Runners will also have the option to run in a half-marathon before the big race, which will let them guage their training progress.
After fielding applications from runners and non-profits, team organizers will select team members and organizations.
Vineberg noted that the Center has had 10 years of experience working with fundraising during the Boston Marathon. Selectman Jesse Mermell also ran with the Center in 2009.
“Having run with Team Brookline myself a few years ago, I know the dedication and training it takes to cross the finish line--not just physically and mentally, but also in terms of fundraising,” said Selectman Jesse Mermell in the press release.
During this year's Boston Marathon, temperatures rose to 85ºF. Because of the heat, the BCMHC runners were given the option to put off running until the 2013 marathon. Vineberg reports that all of the runners ran and completed, many of whom were first-time marathoners.
The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously last week--despite some initial dissent--to negotiate with BCHMC to act as the managing organization in charge of Team Brookline and the town's runners for charity in the 2013 Boston Athletics Association annual Marathon.
Below is the full press release from the Brookline Community Mental Health Center:
On Your Marks, Get Set, GROW!
Boston Marathon “Team Brookline” Goes Town-Wide,Opens 2013 Application Process to Runners and Brookline Non-Profitson Wednesday, September 19, 2012
“Team Brookline,” the Boston Marathon team of the Town of Brookline, will grow its team size and the numbers of charities it benefits in 2013.
Today, the Town is pleased to announce that it will accept Team Brookline applications starting on Wednesday, September 19 from runners who would like a spot on the team to run the Boston Marathon and also from Brookline non-profit agencies that would like to participate and benefit from the runners’ charitable fundraising efforts.
Last week, at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the Town approved a plan to create a new marathon program that will benefit several Brookline not-for-profit organizations, instead of one single organization as had been the case in recent years. This innovative structure will create a first-ever town-wide team and foster collaboration among local organizations. Applications for both runners and non-profits will go online Wednesday at www.brooklinecenter.org/marathon.
“What so many of us love about Brookline is the extraordinary community here,” said Mel Kleckner, Town Administrator. “By creating a first-ever town-wide team for the Boston Marathon, the Board of Selectmen look forward to rallying community enthusiasm and philanthropy to raise awareness andfunds for organizations that do such vital work throughout Brookline.”
Competing in the renowned Boston Marathon usually requires runners to achieve qualifying timesin other marathons. The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) offers a limited number of bib numbers to charitable organizations with the stipulation that they are used by runners who fundraise on the organizations’ behalf. Charity runners must be able to run the course in six hours but they do not need to meet the BAA qualifying time.
For the past 10 years, the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, the Town’s largest human service agency, has fielded Team Brookline with numbers provided by the Town. This year, on behalf of the Town, the Brookline Center will manage a team of at least 20 people running on behalf of Brookline-based non-profit organizations. Participating organizations will partner with the Brookline Center to recruit runners and supply volunteers for Team Brookline activities such as the race day cheering station. Each runner will commit to raising a minimum of $5,000.
“Having run with Team Brookline myself a few years ago, I know the dedication and training it takes to cross the finish line--not just physically and mentally, but also in terms of fundraising,” said Selectman Jesse Mermell. “I am so pleased that this collaborative effort, managed by the experienced staff at the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, will allow Brookline organizations to pool their energy, outreach, and resources for the benefit of the entire town.”
“We look forward to growing awareness of the impact of the non-profits that serve Brookline and toleveraging our experience to give Team Brookline runners and our charitable colleagues a leg up,” said Nancy Vineberg, Vice President for Development for the Brookline Community Mental Health Center. “These 20 Boston Marathon numbers will allow Team Brookline to raise at least $100,000--maybe even more--for our community’s benefit. We deeply appreciate the Town’s confidence and the Boston Athletic Association’s generosity in supporting this program.”
Team Brookline runners will receive:
- an official Boston Marathon number
- personalized training with a coached team for both running and fundraising
- weekly team runs along the marathon course
- expert running, fitness and nutrition guidance
- fundraising support
To apply, prospective Team Brookline runners must be able to meet the BAA’s charity-runner requirement that they can run the course in under six hours; runners also commit to raising at least $5,000 for the Team.
Brookline-based non-profits interested in garnering a Team Brookline organizational spot can reviewparticipation guidelines online. Participating charities must be willing to collaborate on awareness building, reaching out to their own fans and contacts, and attracting team sponsors.
For the full Team Brookline application and to more information, please visit online at www.brooklinecenter.org/marathon.