Ever since running her first 26-miler, the 2008 New York City Marathon, for a local charity called Team for Kids, Angeli Kakade has run for nonprofits in the Chicago, Berlin, and London races' charitable programs.
The latest charity to benefit from Kakade’s generosity and endurance will be Boston-based Dream Big! in Monday’s 117th Boston Marathon.
“I tend to focus on health- or youth-related [charities],” the New York City resident said during a telephone interview when asked why she chose Dream Big!, which was founded in 2010 to help low-income and homeless girls participate in sports.
"Dream Big! is a new organization. I liked the fact that they were new. I think anything new tends to have lower overhead and tends to just be more ambitious. Not that older charities don’t have that same passion, but when you are just starting a charity, you are doing new things. I wanted to be part of something growing, not something that existed, and I thought that was pretty cool.”
Dream Big! is one of several nonprofits either entirely or partially dedicated to Boston Public School students that are raising money through the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program and John Hancock's Marathon Non-Profit Program.
Some of the other nonprofits that are helping BPS students improve their physical fitness are: High School Marathon, MetroLacrosse, the Ron Burton Training Village, Girls on the Run Boston, GoKids Boston, Healthworks Community Fitness, the Special Olympics Massachusetts, Camp Shriver at UMass-Boston, Playworks, Tenacity, America SCORES Boston, and the Boston Scholar Athletes program.
Together, the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program and the John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program — which provide guaranteed entries into the race for runners fund-raising for designated charities — are expected to raise $18 million this year.
Kakade, who is one of 15 runners raising money for Dream Big!, said her goal is to raise $4,000. She is currently at $3,500, according to the Dream Big! website.
Overall, Kakade has raised nearly $30,000 combined for Team for Kids (New York City Marathon), Rock for Reading (Chicago Marathon), The Succeed Foundation (London Marathon), the Heart Foundation (Berlin Marathon), and now Dream Big! in Boston.
She plans to run the Tokyo Marathon next February but hasn’t picked a charity to run for yet.
Running for local charities, she said, is her way of being a “mini citizen” of her host city for the day.
“If I’m running through their city and their streets," she said, "it makes me feel a more connected.”
And she said the folks at Dream Big! have pushed her toward her goal of finishing the Boston Marathon under 4 hours, 10 minutes on Monday.
“Dream Big! sent us an email every week telling us what they were doing and just keeping us up to date on things,” Kakade said. “That makes me feel good. Things like that makes me feel like ‘That’s what my extra mile is for this week, that is why I’m getting up to run 18 miles in the middle of a snowstorm.”
To donate money to the Dream Big! team running the Boston Marathon, click here.
To see the list of charities included in the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program, click here.
To see the list of charities included in the John Hancock Marathon Non-Profit Program, click here.
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