Reiter & Walsh, P.C.’s very own Lisa Springmeyer will be competing in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon! She has raised over $3,000 to help make fitness and running programs more accessible to school-aged children!
The marathon is a component of the Team for Kids program, which hopes to combat childhood obesity and empower youth development. The effort has helped fund programs for more than 200,000 children in more than 1,000 schools and communities nationwide, and has been recognized by the Partnership for a Healthier America and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.
Springmeyer, a dedicated runner, describes her motivations for choosing to support the Team for Kids: “My dad was a marathon runner for the majority of his life; he ran the New York marathons in 1986 and 1988 – 30 years ago. I wanted to do something to say ‘thank you’ to my dad for everything he’s done for me. Last year I started researching the race and I came across Team for Kids, which was created by the New York Road Runners. The program helps kids be more active – not just in their typical PE classes in school, but outside of school as well – and I think that’s very important, not just because of the physical health aspect, but because it really impacts a kid’s social and emotional development. It’s really important to instill the foundation of good health and fitness while kids are still young, because it sets them up for patterns that continue throughout their entire lives.”
The program funds after-school and extracurricular physical education programs for children across the United States, with a focus on underserved metropolitan areas (where students tend to be at greater risk for inactivity and obesity). They also foster a sense of community among program participants, providing each new runner with a point of contact who has previously participated in the New York Marathon. “The organization’s really great at making you feel like part of something bigger,” says Springmeyer. “I’ve worked with some charities before, and it can sometimes feel like some charities stop caring once they’ve secured your donation, like you’re just one person in a big sea of people. Team for Kids really reaches out to you and let you know where your money is going, and they always keep you up to date on their events.”
“The group keeps you updated on all their events big and small, not just the marathons, but Fun Runs too. In my mind, those are just as important, because parents can run these 1-mile races and get their kids active…The kids get to be in a race, have numbered bibs, and cross a finish line, which is really formative. The experience of liking to run starts small, even as something as little as a fun after-school group or a short event on weekends they do with their parents.”
Springmeyer cites the impact of marathon running on her father’s life, and hopes her support of Team for Kids will have the same effect on children impacted by the program: “My dad started running when he was just a kid, and he kept going as he grew up. I thought that joining the Team for Kids was really special, because running was a big thing in his life that helped form him into who he is today. It’s great to know that the little things I do can help another child grow in their own life. I get to honor my dad and help others along the way too.”