2013 Outrunning Homelessness Race/fun Walk Provides Opportunities For Individuals And Families To Pay It Forward

More than 540 runners and walkers opened their wallets and left their footprints on the trails of Borderland to support School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) at the Outrunning Homelessness Race & Fun Walk sponsored by Crescent Credit Union on Saturday, April 27. The fundraiser was held at DCR’s Borderland State Park for its 2nd year in a row and raised over $27,000.

This year, the event was co-directed by Suffolk University undergraduate Dennis Harkins, who founded the event in 2011, and SOWMA Board Member, Cathy Adler. The steering committee also had representation from community volunteers, including Katie Churchill, Suffolk undergraduate Angela Cakridas, Northeastern undergraduate Coleman Clifford, SOWMA Student Advocate Nicole Jensen, SOWMA Board Member Sue Bonanno, SOWMA Executive Director Cheryl Opper, and Emily Harriman, Marketing and Development Coordinator for Crescent Credit Union. Crescent Credit Union has generously served as the event’s anchor sponsor for its second year in a row. According to the event directors, Outrunning Homelessness exceeded even their highest expectations.

Outrunning Homelessness 2013 Co-Directors, Dennis Harkins and Cathy Adler

Race Director and co-founder Dennis Harkins said, “I can’t begin to express my gratitude for everyone that came out to support School on Wheels on Saturday. I am happy to report that 190 runners and 350 walkers came out to leave their footprints on School on Wheels and support children impacted by homelessness in our community. It’s hard to believe that in just 3 years we’ve grown from 175 to 540 participants and raised over $55,000 for SOWMA through this event. Thank you to all that came out to support us, and thank you to the many volunteers and steering committee members. Without your help, our event would not be possible!”

Cheryl Opper, Founder and Executive Director said, “My heart was full of gratitude to see so many individuals, families, and companies coming together to support students impacted by homelessness. Family homelessness is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Saturday we were able to come together as a community to make a difference for kids in our backyard who have no permanent place to call home. One young girl at the event asked me, ‘How can I help a homeless child?'”

Dianne Sproul, the event’s volunteer coordinator, was very happy with the incredible showing of over 70 volunteers who came to help on the day of the event. There were students from Brockton High School and Oliver Ames High School, representatives from HarborOne Credit Union and Crescent Credit Union, along with a great number of community volunteers, including many of the SOWMA tutors and Board Members. The musical entertainment, provided by Nelson Cruz Entertainment, added a festive air to the event.

Photos are available on our Facebook Page.

Photos are available for viewing and downloading in our Outrunning Homelessness 2013 and Finish Line Albums.

Other top finishers to note

Top Male Finishers

  • Age 1-18 James Lane 19:05
  • Age 19-29 Mark D’Aiello 20:52
  • Age 30-39 Brian Lankiewicz 19:10
  • Age 40-49 Matthew Gilman 20:19
  • Age 50-59 Marty Weiner 24:17
  • Age 60-69 Mark Kunemund 25:23

Top Female Finishers

  • Age 1-18 Hannah Altieri 26:35
  • Age 19-29 Tiffany Buckley 24:02
  • Age 30-39 Katie Churchill 21:01
  • Age 40-49 Rikke Taylor 24:09
  • Age 50-59 Jean Richard 28:12
  • Age 60-69 Amit Chopra 44:26