Team OWEN raises $100,000!March 20, 2014 by Victoria Strong
Absolutely incredible. Team OWEN has raised $100,000!
Four years ago, what started as a friend turning his endurance run into an opportunity to raise funding for the SMA cause in Owen's memory has now turned into a community, a TEAM! And They Are Incredible. In four years $100,000 has been raised. A city's half marathon has turned into an SMA event. Thousands have been inspired. SMA research and support programs have been pushed farther. The full impact is immeasurable. One thing is certain -- we are completely blown away by the incredible support and positivity of everyone involved with Team OWEN!
Team OWEN 2014 is completed. Every single person on Team OWEN made this the positive experience that it continues to be. And they are an amazing group of people. They all lead busy lives, many traveled long distances to participate, and all of them sacrificed time and energy to train. And they did it with enthusiasm. Over 200 runners this year with the entire New Bedford community rallying their every step. And the day was electric!
From Heather Correia-Boutin: "This is INCREDIBLE... all these people, running (or cheering) for a little boy most of them probably never knew, running for a disease they probably have never even heard of, buying shirts, making online donations to support the cause, to raise awareness, and find a cure! Owen's time here was cut way to short, but his memory will live in the hearts of this city forever. Heather your strength and drive to make a difference is unbelievable, to have taken something so tragic, and turned it into such a positive driving force to NEVER GIVE UP is absolutely amazing! I thank God that my kids and I knew Owen (and your family), he has been our driving force to be the good. There is no doubt that you have made him proud."
From Tanya Daigle: "I'm honored to be a part of this team. I considered not running this year; training wasn't what it should have been. But our motto is "we run for those who can't." I can, so I will. Thank you to Owen, for inspiring me, you've changed my life forever."
From AnaBela Santos: "As I walked toward the steps of the NB library and saw the BLUE sea of Team Owen runners, I began to cry. This is my all time favorite race of the year for many reasons... the number of friends that run it, the energy throughout the entire route of bystanders with well wishes, and the awesomeness that is TEAM OWEN!! We run for those who can't and for SMA awareness! To be a part of this is something that I cannot verbalize. So many people coming to celebrate the life of one little boy who left us much too early as well as other children who have passed from SMA. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation works tirelessly to find a cure and we must support this outstanding cause! Thank you Heather, Andy, Adyn and Drew for sharing OWEN with the rest of us. Thank you Steve for your energy and passion which ignites the rest of us to push harder."
The Simmons family truly is incredible. They lost their precious little boy, with big brown eyes and an even bigger smile, but they took their grief and channeled into something positive. They have shared their love for him and turned it into a tangible impact on the disease that took his life. They continue to push themselves and challenge their community to dig deeper. They have inspired countless people and changed many lives, including Officer Stephen Taylor who dedicated his 100 mile race to Owen four years ago and hasn't stopped since.
From Stephen Taylor: "In the 4 years Team Owen has been in existence it has continually grown. It has taken hold in our city and we are so grateful for the support. But I feel Team Owen has become something more, something greater, something special. This year we estimate that we have raised over $20,000 for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Our grand total of monies raised will be $100,000 in just 4 years. There is now a SMA awareness in our community which didn't exist 4 years ago. Team Owen HAS become something more. Maybe it doesn't need to be explained. Whatever it is, I hope it continues. Because with Team Owen, there is HOPE. And HOPE is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
We are truly honored to fight SMA alongside the Simmons family and the amazing people who make up Team OWEN! SMA has been CHANGED because of them and thank you doesn't begin to express our gratitude!