CEA members hit the pavement at the 23rd annual Eversource Hartford Marathon today, but not all the teachers had their running shoes on—many volunteered their time in support of the Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) and local charities.
“For the teachers, it’s not just about running in the race, but participating in a worthy cause,” said CEA Vice President and CEF President Jeff Leake.
“Joining Team CEF as a runner or volunteer gives teachers the opportunity to be part of the Connecticut Education Foundation’s fundraising efforts, while also assisting charities around Hartford,” said Leake.
This is CEF’s third year as an official charity of the marathon. CEF is CEA’s charitable arm, and raises money to help children and teachers with extraordinary personal hardships, as well as students planning teaching careers. (Read more about the foundation here.)
Avon teacher Judy Mahar joined Team CEF for the first time this year and volunteered in the runners’ concession tent, handing out snacks. “It is an awesome experience. Everyone is supportive of the runners and the energy is fantastic,” she said.
Stamford teacher Tricia Conduah was back for a second straight year with her twins, Joshua and Jasmine. “It’s important to give back to the community. We had a great experience last year and wanted to be here again. My son enjoyed it so much that he even invited two friends to join us,” said Conduah
Running for a cause
Cooperative Educational Services teacher and CEA Secretary Stephanie Wanzer, Darien teacher Katy Gale, Redding teacher Mary Patterson, and East Hampton teacher Neil Shilansky were among the educators who joined tens of thousands of runners in Hartford this morning.
“It’s a great event for a great cause,” said Shilansky, who is chairman of the CEA Boland Fund, which receives funding from CEF to help teachers experiencing medical and financial hardships.
For the third straight year, Wanzer was the top fundraiser for the Foundation, raising nearly $1,500. Redding teacher Katy Gale collected nearly $700 in donations, while Shilansky’s local donated nearly $600.
It’s not too late to donate
While the race may be over, the fundraising campaign is only halfway through.
“Every donation is greatly appreciated and goes a long way toward helping students and teachers. With the continued generosity of our teachers, friends, and family we are optimistic that we can reach our goal,” said Leake.
Donations are being accepted through the month of October. CEF prefers donations via check to avoid online fees. You can send a check made out to CEF. Mail it to Jeff Leake, CEA, 21 Oak Street, Suite 500, Hartford, CT 06106. Or you can donate online by clicking here.
For a photo gallery of the marathon, click here. Watch a video of the runners and volunteers talking about their experience below.