Now, 177 years later, 26 Tennessee men and women have signed another “oath as volunteers” to support their brothers and sisters involved in last year’s tragic Boston Marathon bombing. This volunteer effort, which includes an epic eight-day relay run starting here in Cleveland and ending in Boston, aims to raise awareness about the ongoing issues victims of the Boston bombings continue to face and presents an opportunity to raise funds to support those victims and their families.
Leaving Tennessee on Saturday and arriving in Boston on April 20, the 26-person group will be accompanied by support vehicles and will run nonstop, 24 hours a day through eight states and over 1,000 miles, hitting multiple major metropolitan areas including Knoxville, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. The group will also make stops in several small communities along the way, with the official halfway point being Madison, Va., population 210. The goal of the run is to raise $50,000 between Tennessee and Massachusetts.
It is truly an honor to represent Cleveland, Tennessee — The City With Spirit. For generations, the people of Tennessee have answered the call to volunteer for others in need, and this is still true today in Cleveland and all across this great state. Please help us welcome and cheer on these runners as they cross Tennessee on their run to Boston, which is officially called the Run Now Relay.
The running team has selected two charities to partner with for the run. The first organization, the One Step Ahead Foundation, provides support and services for those children who lost limbs when the pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs went off at last year’s Boston Marathon finish line. The second charity, Dream Big!, serves the underprivileged through involvement with local sporting activities. In addition, the team has received sponsorships that will cover most of the costs of the journey, with any remaining expenses being paid for by the team itself to allow 100 percent of donations to go to their partnering charities.
In Tennessee, the marathon group will travel through the cities of Cleveland, Lenoir City, Knoxville, Morristown, Jonesborough and Bristol.
To learn more about the fundraising effort to help the Boston Marathon victims, visit http://runnowrelay.org/.
(Editor’s Note: State Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland who represents the 24th Legislative District, is a member of the House Education Committee as well as the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. He also serves as the House’s assistant majority leader. He and his wife, Kim, have two children — Zach and Elizabeth, both of whom attend Lee University. Contact him by email at Rep.Kevin.Brooks@capitol.tn.gov or by calling 1-800-449-8366, ext. 11350.)