As many of you are aware, Red and I hosted a fairly succesful fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund back in August. We were both thrilled at the turnout and the amount of money we were able to raise for a great cause. And really, all we had to do was show up at a place that served booze and pass the hat. Well, one of our faithful followers has gone above and beyond that in an effort to support a cause very near and dear to her. Kristen Merrill is running the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. I know you’ve all got a few bucks socked away that you were saving for Red Sox World Series tickets and t-shirts and, of course, beer. Please consider sending that money to help Kristen’s cause. Thanks in advance…

March 31, 2009
Hi everyone,

So I’ve decided to do it. I’m going to run a marathon. I’ve picked my race (Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. October 25th, 2009). And my charity (Alzheimer’s Association). I’ve got my running buddy (the lovely and talented Katherine Habr ), a training schedule, and a new pair of shoes.

But I need your help.

As committed and stubborn as I am (and you know I’m both), I can’t do this without the support – both emotionally and financially – of many, many people. That’s where you come in. My personal goal for this marathon is to raise $5,000 (only $190.84 per mile!) and do my part to aid in the incredibly important work being done by the Alzheimer’s Association to research the causes of and find a cure for this terrible disease.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disease affecting as many as 5 million current Americans. It currently has no cure. We’ve all been affected by it in one form or another. Kim, a good friend of mine, recently lost her mom to the disease. And many of you know Linda Upton and are watching her family’s current struggle.

For those of you who know me well, you know how important my Memere – Jeannette Grenier – was to me. Growing up, Memere was a constant figure in my life. She may have been 4-foot-eleven but she was the most fiercely independent women I know and set a wonderful example for everyone she met and cared for. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1998 and passed away in 2004. I still miss her terribly and still notice her influence in many things I do. She taught me so much – how to love coffee ice cream and how to nurse a Whiskey Sour among them – but most of all, she was one of the warmest and most generous people around. So in that spirit, I run this marathon for her.
It won’t be easy. 26.2 miles is a lot. Twice as long as my previous longest race. But I know it’ll be that much easier with your support behind me.

I’ve set up a personal donation page at which makes donations via credit card easy. If you’d prefer to send a check, Rick and Sue will be handling those. Please make checks out to the Alzheimer’s Association. You can use the enclosed envelope to mail donations to:

Kristen Merrill
Marathon Training
PO Box 555
Milton, NH 03851

Thank you all for your help in this worthwhile cause. I know that together we can do our part to make a difference!