Penn State senior Charlie Page was shadowing doctors who volunteer with Centre Volunteers in Medicine when he decided he wanted to do more for the organization that he said helps change peoples lives for the better.
Page, a member of the Penn State cross-country club, will be running in the Boston Marathon on April 21 along with 15 other runners from Penn State and the Nittany Valley Running Club, while fundraising for CVIM in the meantime. The group is part of Marathoners for Medicine for CVIM.
“I was running Boston anyway and thought I’d do my part to give back,” said Page, who will attend dental school next year. “I was so impressed with what they do that I had to do more. I’ll be running the marathon, but first and foremost my goal is to help raise money.”
Each runner has an online profile through the CVIM website and is seeking sponsors.
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CVIM is a Centre Region-based nonprofit primary care medical and dental clinic that serves local residents who are uninsured or underinsured.
April marks the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing that claimed the lives of three and injured hundreds. Locals runners heading back there said it’s going to be emotional, but it won’t change the way they run the race.
“I think we’re going to run it like any other marathon,” said Jaimie Wright, who took over the fundraising run initiative last year from founding member John Domico. “I think only this time, we’re running as a community standing in support of Boston and our fellow runners.”
When CVIM was founded in 2003, Domico, a board member, took it upon himself to raise money for the organization while doing something he loved.
“I was a one-man team,” he said. “I was able to raise some money just by word of mouth.”
Domico, whose mother was a nurse, remembers that when he was a child, she would often spend time with patients while she was off the clock.
“I grew up in a family in public service. I’m familiar with the fact that whether you can or can’t afford health insurance, it’s a necessity,” Domico said. “They serve people who need it without judgment and because it’s the right thing to do.”
In the first year, he raised $1,500. By the next year, Domico created a team of seven and raised $15,000.
The goal this year is to raise $50,000 by the time runners arrive in Boston. If the runners reach their goal, they will have raised about half a million dollars since CVIM’s inception.
“Each member believes in what they do and it’s humbling that a community comes together each year for this,” said Sue Forster, marketing and events coordinator for CVIM.
Each year, three honorary coaches are also involved. Joe and Sue Paterno were a part of the initiative since the beginning. When Joe Paterno passed away, Russ Rose, Penn State women’s volleyball coach, took his place. Greg Fredericks, former Penn State track star, acts as the honorary men’s coach.
“It’s fun, especially since I don’t have to run,” Sue Paterno said jokingly, as she is recovering from a broken hip. “What these runners are doing is indeed the epitome of community. It’s the greatest town when volunteers are able to make an impact on the place they live.”