FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Houston Marathon Foundation Makes Running Matter
Nonprofit pledges $100,000 of annual support for
HOUSTON - (Nov. 25, 2008) - Through its pledge to support people and
organizations that make running matter, the Houston Marathon Foundation is
enabling children and elite athletes alike to pursue their running goals.
Many of those runners, from the inner-city streets of Houston to the
distance-running training grounds of Arizona, will head to the starting
line on race weekend in January for the 37th edition of the Chevron Houston
Marathon and its companion races.
The Houston Marathon Foundation's grant program provides funding to
Houston-area organizations and national groups to encourage the development
of running-related initiatives that promote health and fitness. An
inaugural fiscal-year budget of $100,000 is earmarked to support the
advancement of running as part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
One of the initial recipients of a Houston Marathon Foundation grant is
Chavez High School on Houston's eastside. The foundation has provided
funding to the inner-city school for running shoes, transportation to allow
students to participant in running events, and more than 100 complimentary
registrations for the 2009 Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half
Marathon and EP5K.
"The foundation's support of Chavez High School enables dozens of students
to take part in a structured running program and set a goal to participate
in one of the Houston Marathon events," said foundation Chairman Madeline
Bunch. "Running is an excellent outlet for young people to stay active,
improve their health and challenge themselves."
In addition to its support of Chavez, the marathon foundation has provided
a grant to the Greater Houston Chapter of Girls on the Run - a nonprofit
prevention program for girls in grades three through eight. The
organization utilizes running to help fulfill its mission of educating and
preparing girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.
Girls on the Run is using the foundation grant to help fund its
after-school program, which combines training for a 5K event with
"The Houston Marathon is such an important part of the Houston running
community, and we are very pleased to have the generous support of its
foundation," said Mary T Callahan, co-founder of Girls on the Run of
Greater Houston. "Our programs instill self-esteem and strong values
through health education, life-skills development, mentoring relationships,
and physical training - all of which are accomplished through a
collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff and
with the help of the Houston Marathon Foundation."
On a national level, the Houston Marathon Foundation is supporting
organizations focused on developing the next crop of U.S. distance running
stars. The foundation is a sponsor of the USA Distance Project, a targeted
USA Track & Field program to advance elite running in America through the
support of group training centers and up-and-coming athletes.
The foundation is also backing McMillanElite, a grassroots post-collegiate
running team based in Flagstaff, Ariz. under the direction of Coach Greg
McMillan. Through a unique, nonprofit structure, the team offers emerging
elite runners an ideal training environment, combined with the necessary
support to achieve success in distance running.
Contributions from the foundation help defray the cost of training and
medical expenses for several members of the team, six of which are
scheduled to run in the Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half
Marathon in 2009.
"We rely heavily on the contributions of sponsors to fund our program and
allow our athletes to focus on running," said McMillan. "It's often
difficult for runners coming out of college to pursue a career in distance
running and make ends meet. Through our program and the assistance of
sponsors, we are able to give runners the opportunity to continue to
develop their talents."
About the Houston Marathon Foundation: Established in 2007, the Houston
Marathon Foundation's goal is to support the advancement of running as an
element of a balanced, healthy lifestyle in the Houston community and
nationally. The Houston Marathon Foundation, a 501 (C)(3) organization,
supports people, projects and ideas that promote an understanding of,
access to and / or participation in running as part of a physical-fitness
The foundation also provides grants for innovative thinking and research in
the creation of running-related programs that lead to effective
community-based health initiatives. The 37th running of Chevron Houston
Marathon, and companion races, is scheduled for Sunday, January 18, 2009.
For more information, contact Steven Karpas, Managing Director, (713)
957-3453 or visit: ChevronHoustonMarathon.com