The Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon Surprised the National Hospice Foundation with a $5,000 Donation

For Immediate Release:
October 31, 2011

(Alexandria, VA) – When Darris Blackford, race director for the Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon (which NHF had designated as this year’s National Memorial Race), said he would attend the pre-Marine Corps Marathon reception, staff were pleased. “We looked forward to seeing Darris again,” said Stuart Lazarus, Run to Remember program director, “and in having him visit the National Center for Care at the End of Life.”

What no one knew was that Blackford had a surprise in store. He took the podium and said, “It has been such an honor to be NHF’s National Memorial Race and to welcome a team of hospice runners to our marathon, which was just two weeks ago.”  He then reached into his pocket and added “We are so pleased to be able to make this $5,000 donation to the National Hospice Foundation in honor of all that you do.”  The room erupted in applause for the generosity of this gift, which comes from the not-for-profit board which runs the Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon.

John Mastrojohn, NHF’s executive director, says, “Attending the marathon was one of the best experiences of my life. I had the thrill of firing the starting gun. I was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd and so proud that Run to Remember was a big part of this race. To have Darris come to our Marine Corps Marathon reception and give us this check was an unexpected pleasure. We are deeply grateful to the Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon and to Darris in particular, for all his support this year. He has set the bar high for the 2012 National Memorial Race, which is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.”

National Hospice Foundation