Boilermaker Blog

Running For The Right Thing


This year marks the second offering of Charity Bibs for the Boilermaker. In order to insure that all the bibs were called for we opened Charity Bib Registration two weeks prior to the opening of general registration on March 22nd. Last year over 30 bibs ended up not being used; in spite of that, the charities of choice raised over $105,000. To date (March 16th) we currently have 57 Charity Bib Runners. In a shameless plug for the Boilermaker Charity Bib Program if you raise at least $500 for one of our eleven charities (found on boilermaker.com) you are guaranteed entry into the race.
While the amount of money these charitable souls raise are incredible, the stories as to why they are running are simply awe-inspiring. They are what I call sad-happy stories. When allowed, I will share some of these stories; here is one of them.
The morning of March 13, 2013 started as a chilly morning; clearly be big change from a year earlier when the high reached 70 degrees. The weather wasn’t the only thing that made March 13th different from the previous year.
Michael Renshaw, a 23 year veteran of the Department of Corrections and 18 months away from retirement, was waiting to get his car serviced by Thomas Stafka at Gaffney’s Fast Lube in Herkimer.
Heading his way, Kurt Myers a man described as an odd loner who, on this day, had transformed into both an arsonist and a killer. His rampage, which minutes earlier had left two dead and two wounded in Mohawk, was now to add two more victims- Michael and Thomas. Myers was to die in a hail of gunfire the following day after a standoff with the police.
Mike left behind a large family including a fiancé named Vivian Veazy.
So one would think that enough misery had been delivered at the doorstop of Vivian; there’s more. Six and a half months later Vivian was diagnosed with breast cancer-Wow! The sad part(s) of the story.
Today Vivian has completed her cancer treatments and her prognoses is excellent. “While undergoing radiation I made the decision that I was going to run my first Boilermaker road Race” said Vivian “I believe the Boilermaker Charity Bib Program is the perfect fusion (Michael’s death/ breast cancer) and I look forward to making this happen.” The happy part of the story.
Vivian is running for the Susan G. Koman For The Cure organization.
July 13th will be a very special day for Vivian.
On Sunday, July 13th she will be running her first Boilermaker; no small accomplishment.
On July 13th she will be raising money for breast cancer research. She has already reached her $500 minimum and I expect her to raise much, much more.
Finally, on July 13th she will be running in memory of her fiancé Michael.
And, so you know- July 13th would have been Michael Renshaw’s 53rd birthday.
Simply incredible…

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