Clark Lake woman runs 'emotional' 50K event, raises money to help injured U.S. soldiers

By Tarryl Jackson | M Live | | September 20, 2012

BROOKLYN, MI – On Sunday, Joei Ellis went on a 50K run that ended up being a tearful and emotional one for her.

The Clark Lake resident was thinking about Cpl. Patrick "Pappy" Matisi, one of her son's comrades who was critically injured in July 2011 in Afghanistan and almost didn't survive.

"He's since gone on and gotten married," Ellis said about Matisi. "It's been a really hard time for his recovery. He's such a trooper."

Ellis, 50, made the 31-mile run through Brooklyn in honor of Matisi and raised about $1,000 to support the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to members of the U.S. Armed Forces during hospitalization and recovery. She will continue her fundraising efforts through the end of September, with hopes of reaching $5,000.

Sunday's run was Ellis' fourth in the past year. So far, she has raised close to $5,000 from those runs.

"I think you have to aim," Ellis said. "Whatever you get is more than what you started with."

Ellis was originally planning to participate in a run in Pinckney, but she said it would cost too much money that could instead go to the Semper Fi Fund.

"I ran it in six hours," Ellis said. "It was the most perfect day. It was a really emotional time for me."

Ellis, who also ran last October as part of the Patrone's Running Crew in the Wild Life Marathon in Concord in Matisi's honor, said she continues to pray for him.

"I would love to have the opportunity to meet him," she said. "Hopefully that day would come."

Those who are interested in helping Ellis reach her goal can donate by visiting her campaign page.

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