Mike Mendoza and fellow athletes in a group photo after an event

Semper Fi Fund on PR Web

April 9, 2019

Nation’s highest-rated veteran charity, Semper Fi Fund, is honored to once again be an official charity partner for the 123rd Boston Marathon.

When the starting gun is fired for the 2019 Boston Marathon – the sixth running of the event since the bombing that took place near the finish line in 2013 – 10 Team Semper Fi athletes and 23 Semper Fi Fund Community athletes will be joining the victims of that horrific day to stand Boston Strong. This will mark the fourth year in a row that Semper Fi Fund athletes have run alongside Boston Marathon bombing victims.

“Just days after the bombing on April 20, 2013, a special relationship between the Boston survivors and the Semper Fi Fund began,” noted Karen Guenther, President, CEO and Founder of the Semper Fi Fund. “Several wounded veterans who had been assisted by the Fund visited five hospitals, EMS teams and the injured. They shared their stories and brought the Fund’s message of hope and strength to those affected by the terrible events of that day.”

For example, Gabe Martinez, a double amputee on Team Semper Fi, had flown in from training for the Paralympic Trials. Walking into the hospitals, sporting shorts that showed off his prosthetic legs, Gabe embodied joy, excitement about life, and happiness after trauma. Gabe, along with fellow veterans Cam, BJ, Josh, John, and Bobby showed the victims of the Boston tragedy how to thrive in the wake of significant trauma.

Guenther and Vice President of Casework Susan Rocco joined these inspirational warriors in visiting staff and patients in Boston emergency rooms, post-operative recovery units and intensive care units. Their visits – the first of seven such trips in the first year after the bombing – brought a mixture of humor, strength, inspiration and love to patients, families, and hospital staff alike as they provided mentorship and inspiration.

Over the months that followed the 2013 bombing, the Semper Fi Fund received donations from all across America to support those injured in the bombing. The Fund was able to help families of the victims with lodging, loss of income while at bedside, service dogs, adaptive equipment – whatever was needed.

Since then, the Fund has remained close to its Boston family. Each Marathon Day, the Fund joins Boston in celebrating the strength and resiliency of the community. Staff and veterans alike feel honored and blessed for the relationships that emerged after the bombing.

This year, the Fund will once again be a Boston Marathon Charity Partner. As one of 36 official charities recognized by the Boston Athletic Association, the Fund has committed to recruit runners, who in turn must fundraise to receive a charity bib for the 123rd Boston Marathon. “It’s a very important part of the work we do and is one of the ways the B.A.A. is able to give back to the eight cities and towns along the route that do so much to support us,” Nicole Juri, the B.A.A.’s manager of charity and community partnerships, recently told the Boston.com website.

Those wishing to join the Semper Fi Fund Marathon Team as a fundraiser April 15 in Boston can get more information by visiting semperfifund.org/event/boston-marathon-2019.

About the Semper Fi Fund
The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for combat-wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case Managers from the Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetimes. The Fund keeps its overhead extremely low in order to have the greatest impact on the lives of service members and veterans and has been awarded the highest ratings from watchdog groups: A+ from CharityWatch (one of only two veteran nonprofits to receive this rating last year), eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator (an achievement attained by only 3% of rated charities) and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Learn more at SemperFiFund.org.

About the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs, including high performance athletes and running club. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. The 123rd Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, 2019. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit http://www.baa.org.

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