Monday, April 11, 2011

John Hancock Employees Run for AFH in 115th Boston Marathon

When the runners in the 115th annual Boston Marathon lace up for their 26.2 mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 18, among them will be an athletic group of John Hancock employees pounding the pavement on behalf of Artists For Humanity!

John Hancock, the principal sponsor of the marathon since 1986, chose AFH as one of its 2011 Boston Marathon John Hancock Non-Profit partners. And this is great news! The twenty John Hancock runners must each raise a minimum of $1,500 to benefit AFH programs. Nice!

One first- time marathoner and John Hancock employee, Inga Stenta, age 36, says she is excited and proud to be on the AFH "team." She selected AFH because her brother is a New York City artist and sculptor. She likes the idea of supporting artists and says "he would have appreciated having an organization like AFH when he was a teen."

To get motivated , the John Hancock runners for AFH visited the EpiCenter, took a tour, and learned about the mission. "This really helped us make the case for asking for financial support." says Stenta. "When I mentioned to an old college friend, who I haven't seen in over a decade, that I was running for AFH, he was thrilled. He said "I love AFH!" Turns out he commissions AFH to create T-shirts for a fundraiser that he runs each year. Small world!" Stenta has so far raised over $3,000 for AFH.

Jalon Fowler, another Hancock employee and first-time marathoner, says training has been a "wonderful journey." She chose to join the AFH team after hearing wonderful things about the organization from her husband, who is familiar with AFH through his job with the Boston Public Schools. She recently did a twenty mile training run and says, "I'm ready!"

Jalon Fowler on a training run

John Hancock non-profit runners raise money and raise hope; every step is a commitment to the people they help and the promise they have made. 2011 marks the first year AFH has been selected as one of John Hancock's marathon partner organizations, which are broadly categorized by their cause under civic, disabilities, education, health and wellness, homelessness and youth. AFH is very grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of John Hancock's extraordinary support.

Meanwhile, both Inga and Jalon have been working with a coach through the John Hancock employee training program, and keeping track of their training runs in the training manual. Inga's two young daughters, and Jalon's three children will be cheering their Moms on -- as will all of us at AFH.

WBZ TV 4 recently taped an interview with AFH Founder and Mentor Jason Talbot in the AFH painting studio. It will run on TV-38 on Wednesday April 13 at 9:30pm and again on Sunday April 17th at 11am on WBZ TV-4. On behalf of AFH teens and staff, Jason expressed the appreciation for all John Hancock does for AFH and the Boston community.

**In addition to supporting AFH with a marathon team, John Hancock is presenting sponsor of AFH's Greatest Party on Earth coming up on Saturday, May 21st. Check it out and buy a ticket at

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