Being a runner, I have found, has helped me on the job.  Running races, achieving goals, and managing projects all require a similar ability to stay disciplined and focused. Organizing a successful event and finishing a race both provide a tremendous sense of accomplishment and ego boost. I have also found that running offers a unique problem-solving opportunity for the other “events” I’m running. It is the only time of the day that I am completely alone with my thoughts and totally unplugged. A work day often begins with a conversation that starts “Remember that challenge we were discussing yesterday? Well, on my run this morning…”

Many of you in the PPMD Community are runners – and many more of you are event planners and fundraisers! I have been in awe of the great things that you are all doing to help us raise the funds required for us to fulfill our mission to end Duchenne. I cheered on an amazing group of runners at the Baltimore Running Festival in October organized by the Rice and Barroll families. Two weeks later I participated in the Brookhaven 5k Run in Mathews, North Carolina organized by Emily Pritchard. That same weekend the Killians hosted “Sam’s Day” in Dallas. And this weekend is the Rally for Ryan dinner in Naperville, Illinois organized by the Karlin family. And we are so grateful, as an organization, that the list of events goes on!

I spoke to a woman this week whose son was newly diagnosed and of course had that impulse to do something. I talked to her about some of the events that were being planned by families throughout our community and she’s thinking about the kind of fundraiser that she and her family could best organize. Your efforts were certainly inspiring to her. There are quite a lot of options for those with the impulse to do something and all of us at PPMD will support you along the way to assure your fundraiser is a success.

I’m training now for the Houston Half Marathon in January for Run for Our Sons. This is what I can do personally. But as the Vice President of Development, I am also organizing the PPMD End Duchenne Gala taking place at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on Thursday, December 6.  For this event, I have had the benefit of working with a fabulous committee including Catherine Collins, Anessa Fehsenfeld, Janelle Hester, Vicky Singh, Paula Zenobio, and Ryan Fischer and Kimberly Galberaith from PPMD. We are creating what promises to be a lovely evening at a spectacular venue during what is probably one of my favorite times of year in New York City.

Gala invitations went out to all the PPMD supporters in the New York metro area about two weeks ago; if you are out of the area but would like to join us, please reach out to me and I’ll make sure you get an invitation. Or better yet, just go to the website. There is still time to RSVP and even become a sponsor (or just make a gift if you’re unable to attend).

I will assure you that attending the End Duchene Gala will be a lot easier than running (or even organizing your own event) if you should feel the need to “do something” in the fight to end Duchenne. I have a framed poster handing in my den showing the spectacular start of the New York City Marathon. It reads, “Alone its 26.2 miles - together it’s a marathon!”  Without you, December 6 would just be a dinner; with the support of people like you, dedicated to ending Duchenne, it’s the Big Gala!

Mary Connolly, Vice President of Development
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