Yes, you read right! I don’t know too many people who have run ONE marathon much less 50! In 2007, Robert Reffkin set out to run 50 marathons – one in each state. His goal was to raise $1 million dollars for nonprofit organizations that support young people in realizing their dreams through access to educational resources. Talk about paying it forward!
I am keenly aware of the fact that I did not achieve all this by myself. I had a great deal of help all along the way from people who cared and who were willing to give of themselves to others. Now it is my turn. I want to use what I have been given – my health and physical stamina, my abilities and my connectedness with others to reach out to young people and make a difference in their lives.
– Robert Reffkin
Robert’s story is pretty impressive. He’ll tell you that despite the circumstances in his youth that could have held him back, he’s living a good life. He’s humble and appreciative – constantly giving credit to nonprofits like A Better Chance, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and Summer Search for helping to shape the man that he is today.
When you look at him, you see a sharply dressed man who’s confident, civic-minded and well-connected. He’s a Columbia University graduate (both undergrad and M.B.A.) who earned the coveted White House Fellowship. He is a rising corporate celebrity on Wall Street and founder of the successful nonprofit organization, New York Needs You. And, since 2007 he has been using the sweat of his brow (literally) and his extensive Rolodex to raise $1 million for the kids.
He’s a true visionary with a strong sense of purpose and the stick-to-itiveness to see his goals through to the end. And what a goal it is to raise $1m for nonprofits by running 50 marathons! Every time I say it (or type it) I marvel at the gravity of what he has accomplished and what it will mean when he crosses the finish line this Sunday at the ING New York City Marathon. His story is a testament to the impact that nonprofits can have on the lives of young people and the amazing adults they can become.
Support him as he comes to the end of this 5 year race! Go to his site for more information: http://www.runningtosupportyoungdreams.com/