The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon impacts the community long after the last runner has crossed the finish line, thanks to the donation of event proceeds to local charity partners. The non-profit event is proud to award a total of $102,026 to its 2018 charity partners: Greater Green Bay YMCA Full Circle Program, Special Olympics Wisconsin Unified Sports Program and Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity.
“The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is so much more than a run. It’s an opportunity for participants to commit to their health, a stimulus for tourism to boost the local economy, and a demonstration of community spirit for our volunteers and sponsors,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health and board president of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. “Marathon weekend is also the catalyst for something much bigger. Our non-profit partners invest the donations from our event and have a positive impact in our community throughout the year.”
Over the last 19 years, the event has donated more than $1.4 million to 18 local charity partners. The YMCA is concluding its three-year partnership with the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.
“Over the past three years, the impact of the support and generosity of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon on the YMCA Full Circle program has been almost beyond measure. It has allowed us to create and cultivate inclusive programs and opportunities for hundreds of children with autism. Each and every Full Circle child has a success story, whether it was learning to swim independently, developing a new friend as they created a Lego robot together or playing capture the flag at Y Camp. An unexpected and surprising impact of Full Circle has been the supportive and nurturing community that it created for our kids and their families. That was where we struck magic! We are forever grateful to the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon team, board, volunteers and supporters for their dedication to making our community a brighter place for all children,” said Kathleen McKee, youth development executive.
The Mary Poppele Award, given to the top fundraiser, was also presented today. Recipient Sam Ricker raised $670 through the Run for a Reason program. The award is given in memory of Mary Poppele, an avid marathon fundraiser, who passed away in April 2004 while training for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Ricker, a West De Pere High School graduate and sophomore at the University of Minnesota, directed his funds to Habitat for Humanity.
“I chose to fundraise because I wanted to give back to the community. As summer draws to an end, winter gets closer. Living in Wisconsin during the cold months can be dreadful, especially if you are without a home. Raising money for Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity motivated me during the training months before the marathon,” said Ricker. “During the long runs, you have lots of time to think about things. In many cases, I found myself thinking about those who are less fortunate than me. I believe that I wasn’t on my own during those long runs. I was carrying these people along with me during my journey. I feel very proud that I am receiving the Mary Poppele award, but I know I could not have done it without the Green Bay community. I wanted to thank my family, friends, and all those who generously gave money for the fundraiser. It truly is amazing to see the community come together and help support such a worthy cause.”
Next year’s Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is scheduled for May 18-19, 2019.