Dream Big! Boston Marathon® Team Raises Over $225,000 to Empower Girls In Need Through Sports.

Dream Big!, a Boston Marathon® Official Charity Partner, Provides Girls from Low-Income Situations With the Equipment, Sports Attire, Training and Program Fees Needed for Them to Participate in Sports & Physical Activities.

NEWTON, MA, April 18, 2016 – Every day a girl in need is stuck on the sidelines, wishing she could play – or stepping on to a playing field, court or track without the proper footwear, equipment, sports attire or training. Imagine trying to run the Boston Marathon with second-hand shoes that don’t fit right, the wrong clothes, and never having run more than a mile or two. On April 18th, the Dream Big! Marathon Team, made up of eighteen runners – from Boston, Greater Boston, and across the country – took to the starting line of the Boston Marathon® to help break down the economic barrier that currently prevents thousands of girls in economically disadvantaged communities from participating in the sports and physical activities known to contribute to their health, education and overall well-being.

April 18th marked the 120th running of the Boston Marathon, an event that attracts elite athletes from around the world. But behind the amazing world-class marathoners runs another inspirational group - the charity runners and the Dream Big! Marathon Team, selected as one of the Boston Marathon® Official Charity Partners in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, is made up of eighteen of these inspirational athletes who are the first Dream Big! team to ever raise over $200,000; the funds raised will help provide thousands of girls from low-income situations with the equipment, athletic footwear, uniforms, sports attire, training and program fees needed for them to participate in sports and physical activities, and helping to lay the foundation for healthy, active lifestyles and quality learning experiences.

The 2016 Dream Big! Marathon Team includes (click on any of the names below for runner info and fundraising pages):

Carly Abarbanel, Somerville, MA

Kelly Dagdigian, Charlestown, MA

Jessica Henck, Boston, MA

Jenna Hoopingarner, Somerville, MA

Tracy Johnson, Owing Mills, MD

Maura Keith, Boston, MA

Alison King, Brookline, MA

Stefan Lanfer, Jamaica Plain, MA

Molly Lynch, New Haven, CT

Sarah McVeigh, Foxboro, MA

Annette Mitchell, Charlton, MA

Laura Moretti, Boston, MA

Paige Piani, Hollis, NH

Laura Ricciardone, Brighton, MA

Alexandra Rogers, Brighton, MA

Joy Sieklucki, Avon, CT

George Stevens, Newton, MA

Tom Thimot, Los Gatos, CA

“Participation in sports gives girls the strength, self-esteem and tools they need to live healthy, active and successful lives,” Linda Driscoll, Founder, President & CEO, said. Unfortunately, poverty can severely limit a girl’s involvement in sports, given the many associated costs, such as program and training fees, equipment, uniforms, or athletic footwear. We are so grateful to the B.A.A. for selecting Dream Big! as a Boston Marathon® Official Charity Partner since 2013; this opportunity has been extremely significant for a young organization such as Dream Big!, as it has allowed us to go from impacting 1,500 girls and young women in 2013 to over 6,000 last year. In 2016, Dream Big! equipment grants, program scholarships, and the Dream Big! Leadership Conferences for female athletes from urban communities will impact over 7,000 girls. This could not have been done without the funds raised by the eighteen Dream Big! Marathon Team members and all of their friends, family members and colleagues that supported them,” says Driscoll.

The Dream Big! Marathon Team funds have helped to provide support to many Boston-based girls sports programs as well as individual girls in need. Here are just a few examples of the impact the marathon program funds have had on Dream Big! partner programs : All seventeen Boston Public Schools softball teams are receiving pitching and training nets to allow them to practice indoors and on small fields. This season, many of these teams also received equipment such as brand new softball gloves, cleats, bats and uniforms; Dream Big! also helped sponsor the first two basketball college showcases put on by the Boston Showstoppers for over 200 student athletes at the Reggie Lewis Center, allowing student athletes to be seen by college coaches from across the country; over $150,000 in brand new sports attire and equipment has been distributed to female track, soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball athletes from Greater Boston and Lawrence; hundreds of pairs of athletic footwear have been distributed to elementary, middle and high school female athletes in Greater Boston; Physical education equipment has been provided to over 12 elementary schools to ensure that thousands of kids have the equipment they need to be active during P.E. class and recess. And on June 2nd, 2016, over 200 middle and high school female athletes from urban communities will attend the 6th Annual Dream Big! Leadership Conference at UMass Boston.

The Dream Big! Marathon Team is made up of an inspirational group of amazing individuals; all of whom understand the importance of the on - and off-the-field benefits of giving girls from economically disadvantaged communities the opportunities they deserve to participate in a sport or physical activity they enjoy.

Founded in 2010, Dream Big!’s mission is to help girls achieve their dreams by providing them with the basic items, fees and training needed to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being. Dream Big! works to ensure that all girls, regardless of socio-economic background, have the equipment, uniforms, athletic footwear, program fees, sports attire, training expenses, sports camp scholarships, and supplies they need to participate in sports and physical activities. Over six years, since the organization was founded in 2010, Dream Big! programs have had a direct, positive impact on more than 20,000 girls in need.

To learn more, donate, volunteer, run an equipment drive or benefit from Dream Big!, visit www.dream-big.org or e-mail us at info@dream-big.org. Please ‘Like’ our Facebook page