Team OWEN is IncredibleMarch 09, 2014 by Victoria Strong
This boy. 23 months old -- forever. Has helped to change the very disease that took his life.
Team OWEN is incredible. Next Sunday, for the fourth year in a row, hundreds will come together in New Bedford, Massachusetts, donning bright blue shirts and hats, to run the annual New Bedford Half Marathon in Owen's honor.
Team OWEN has literally shaped the New Bedford Half with their huge presence, adding hundreds of new runners each year -- some flying in from as far as Canada. In fact, because of Team OWEN, theGSF was selected as an "official charity partner" of the race. People from literally every part of the community are part of Team OWEN: the high school, the fire department, the police department, track clubs, businesses... Everyone in New Bedford knows Owen and enthusiastically supports the inspiring Simmons family and their efforts to make a difference in his memory.
And what a difference he has made. In just three years, Team OWEN has raised over $75,000 directly benefiting gene therapy research, SMA large animal model research, Project Mariposa iPad grants, SayHi! AAC (communication iPad app), and the Emerging Investigator Awards. And they aren't slowing down this year! Team OWEN super organizer, Stephen Taylor, once again had special blue Team OWEN gear made: beanies, sweatshirts, running shirts, with all proceeds donated toward the team's efforts. Crossfit New Bedford hosted a WOD (workout of the day) and raised nearly $2,000 in just one morning. There is a west coast "satellite" half marathon run starting at the Manhattan Beach Pier at 8:00 am in California or you can join by running wherever you are at the same time as the New Bedford Half (11 am EDT). And Buster's Sports Bar & Grill is hosting a post-race party for all the Team OWEN runners to gather, celebrate, listen to live music, and continue to raise funds with a raffle.
Owen's smile brightened the world for 23 months and his NEVER GIVE UP. spirit continues to inspire people! Team OWEN is positivity, is determination, is change. You can be part of it too by donating in support of Team OWEN, joining the race, or running wherever you live on March 16th.
"One person CAN make a difference. And everyone should try." -- Kennedy