November-December Newsletter

  Achilles Freedom Team members Jess Walton and John Masson celebrating their NYC Marathon finish with Jon Stewart!

Achilles Freedom Team members Jess Walton and John Masson celebrating their NYC Marathon finish with Jon Stewart!

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Sunday November 4th, marked the climax of our race season with the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon. We had over 200 athletes and 196 guides from around the world. Members from our international chapters included South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Mongolia, Brazil, Ecuador, VenezuelaCanada, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and France. National chapters included Nashville, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Boston, North Carolina, as well as Brooklyn and Queens. We also had 30 Achilles Freedom Team of wounded veterans competing.

It was an incredible race and one of the nicest days, weather-wise, with many great finish times and PRs. Mauricio Blandino, in his early sixties and with a Traumatic Brain Injury, continued to show that age is just a number by running a PR of 3:45:26. Irwin Ramirez, a visually impaired athlete, PR’d in 3:41:00. Alan Kaufman proved to us that the Achilles spirit is definitely indomitable. He finished his 25th NYC Marathon! Alan was a guide for Achilles 13 times and this was his first marathon as an Achilles athlete after beating brain cancer.

Anthony Butler and Jessie Rix got quite a bit of media attention for their love story meeting through Achilles. Jessie guided Alison Lynch to a PR on Sunday. Marcin Grabinski from Poland finished in 2.51.56, Danny Bano from Ecuador finished in 2.57.50 and Zoro Baasai from Mongolia finished in 3.07.41, respectfully earning their 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as Achilles runners.

Congratulations to all our Achilles runners who crossed the finish line on this beautiful day. 

A special thanks to our Charity Runners who raised over $190,000 for our programs. We are beyond grateful for all the runners who wore the Achilles Purpose Charity Shirt with pride, raising funds and awareness. Thank you all! We truly hope you will join us again next year!

The TCS New York City Marathon has been a constant and ultimate goal for our members around the world during the past 35 years. There is something extra special about this marathon and it can only be experienced - To write about it doesn’t do it justice. So, we hope you’ll join us in 2019! Thank you to our partners at New York Road Runners, running guides, and family members for helping to make race day successful and enjoyable. Thank you to our major sponsors from The Moody Endowment and Michelob ULTRA. And most of all, thank you to our incredible athletes! You are remarkable, and we are so honored to be a part of your journey on and off the race course.

Happy Holidays!

Dick

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR ACHILLES E-STORE!

In conjunction with our premium apparel partner Champion System, a worldwide leader in custom technical apparel, new pieces and Achilles classics are now available for purchase here.

AMAZON SMILE!

Don't forget, if you shop at Amazon please shop at https://smile.amazon.com. When you shop here, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Be sure to select Achilles! This can generate a lot of money if we can make it a simple habit for 10,000 people on our contacts + thousands of others in our personal social media contacts. Thank you!

LAKIN CHALLENGE

'Tis the season to support Achilles! We are thrilled to once again celebrate the holiday season with the Lakin Challenge! Generously underwritten by Achilles board member David Greenstein along with Robert (“Bob”) LakinNeil Mellen and the Town Fair Tire Foundation, the Lakin challenge will match all donations specifically earmarked for this challenge through December 31st up to $50,000. Please note "Lakin Challenge" when making your donation and help athletes with disabilities have the opportunity to be active and achieve!

ACHILLES 28TH ANNUAL GALA –
CELEBRATING REMARKABLE WOMEN OF ACHILLES

On November 1st at the historic Union League Club, Achilles celebrated our 28th Annual Gala honoring The Remarkable Women of Achilles. The event kicked off with a special rendition of Billy Joel's “New York State of Mind” by Grammy Award winning Jazz Artist, Diane Schuur. Diane has been blind since birth and taught herself piano by ear. 

We honored three remarkable women: Minda Dentler, received the Achilles Athlete of the Year Award. Minda started her racing journey with Achilles as a handcyclist in 2006. Despite being paralyzed after contracting Polio as a baby in India, Minda became the first female wheelchair athlete to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii in 2013. She is now a mother, financial services professional, speaker and health advocate. Minda generated over 1 million views on her recent Ted Talk.

Meghan McCain, Co-host of The View and daughter of the late Senator John McCain received the Achilles Ambassador of the Year Award. Meghan has been a longtime supporter of the Achilles Freedom Team and has talked about Achilles on her show numerous times. (See Meghan’s amazing tribute to the Freedom Team on The View, below.)

Tyrrell Schmidt, TD Bank executive and Achilles Board member received the Achilles Volunteer of the Year Award. Tyrrell is an active volunteer with the Philadelphia and Toronto chapters and has guided numerous Achilles athletes in races in North America.

In addition, we presented Trisha Meili with a special award commemorating 25 years since she became Founding Board Chair of Achilles. She became involved with Achilles during her rehabilitation from a brutal beating and rape in 1989. Trisha is also the Founder of the Achilles Hope & Possibility Race® named after her best-selling memoir: “I am the Central Park Jogger: A story of Hope and Possibility”.

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BIG THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

We thank the following sponsors for making this event a success!

The Moody Endowment ● Michelob Ultra ● Cigna ● GM Military Discount.

ACHILLES FREEDOM TEAM MARATHON TOUR 2018

We don't call it "Marathon Month" for nothin!! The Achilles Marathon Tour was in full swing from October 5th through November 4th. Highlighting the Achilles Freedom Team, the Marathon Tour sponsored nearly 300 members to compete, achieve and cross finish lines in 4 marathons in 4 cities in 5 weeks! Athletes conquered The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, The Detroit Free Press Marathon, The Marine Corps Marathon and the TCS New York City Marathon! Heartfelt thanks to GM Military Discount and the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, Bank of America's MSAG and DAG groups, the Union League Club of NYC, DAV Charitable Service Trust, the NYPD, and all our generous supporters of the Achilles Freedom Team for your continuous backing of our program and the athletes we serve.
Check out Achilles in the news.

Please enjoy this slideshow culminating the Achilles Freedom Team this past month.

  Above: Achilles Freedom Team at the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Above: Achilles Freedom Team at the 2018 Chicago Marathon

  Above: Magical moments from the Detroit Marathon Weekend

Above: Magical moments from the Detroit Marathon Weekend

  Above: Memorable moments from the Marine Corps Marathon!

Above: Memorable moments from the Marine Corps Marathon!

  Above: The NYC Marathon is the “grand finale” to a month of marathons!

Above: The NYC Marathon is the “grand finale” to a month of marathons!

FREEDOM TEAM TRIBUTE TO SENATOR JOHN McCAIN

As a tribute to the late Senator John McCain, Adam Keys, Nick Koulchar, Jess Walton, and Earl Granville competed in the TCS New York City Marathon in his honor. Meghan McCain was so touched by this, she talked about it on ABC's The View! Click here for the clip.

Newsweek also did a beautiful piece about this special tribute.

In addition, Mass Mutual produced a powerful social media piece highlighting Achilles Freedom Team athlete, Rob Sanchas and his journey to the TCS New York City Marathon. Check it out!

ACHILLES AWARDS/PASTA DINNER

At our annual pre-NYC Marathon Awards Dinner, on Friday November 1st, The Stephen R. Fastenberg Award for Outstanding Achilles Kids member went to Charlotte Mittman. The James Rooney Award for Outstanding Guide went to Sarah Hart of the Achilles Nashville Chapter. the Ted & Betsy Rogers Award went to Peter Loft of the Achilles New Zealand Chapter, the Alberto Arroyo Award went to Ricardo Corral, and two new awards were named for new Achilles sponsors: the Michelob ULTRA Outstanding Achilles Male Athlete of the Year went to Marcus Chischilly of Achilles Freedom Team and the Moody Endowment Award for Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year went to Sarah Heller of Achilles NYC Chapter. The GM Military Discount Achilles Freedom Team Member of The Year award was presented to Stefan LeRoy by board member and guide, Mark Degnan in Detroit after the Half Marathon on October 21st. Zoro Baasai from Achilles Mongolia received the Achilles International Special Award.

ACHILLES LAS VEGAS

Achilles Las Vegas is celebrating its first anniversary on November 30th! To cap off their first year, Achilles athletes and guides ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas races. Pedro Navarro and Ja’nesha Murphy ran the 10k and Terri Rupp ran her first marathon! Terri rocked her custom Team Ultra jersey during the race! And they got some pre-race publicity. Check out their interviews here… And here!

“Thanks so much to Team Michelob Ultra for sponsoring our athletes and guides.”
Achilles Las Vegas

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ACHILLES NASHVILLE

“First a HUGE thank you to Achilles NY for hosting such a great New York City Marathon race weekend.” Achilles Nashville was proud to be a part of such a wonderful event and to spend time with athletes and guides from around the world. The chapter would like to recognize the outstanding athletes and guides who participated, including: Matt Davis (wheelchair athlete) who completed his 71st marathon in New York and is off to the Oita Wheelchair Marathon in Japan. Tony Grossi also completed his 71st marathon in New York. Tony had outstanding guides with him: Beth Gottlieb, who is also a percussionist, actually played at Carnegie Hall the night before the marathon; Also, Olaf Wasterknack who, a few weeks before NY, ran 155 miles in 33 hours over the Greek mountains from Athens to Sparta, (in weather that made Boston look good!) This was part of an elite US running team. Dwaine Jones who has been an Achilles athlete for six years completed his first marathon in NY and finished strong with the help of his two amazing guides: Sarah Hart, (below left), who received the James Rooney Award for outstanding guide of the year. Sarah is Achilles Nashville’s founder and long-time leader; Randy Hodge who has put in massive amounts of hours training on Wednesdays and Saturdays with Dwaine over the months leading up to the marathon. It was an amazing showing from Team Nashville.

While many of Achilles Nashville were in New York, Chassity Choate ran the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon with Allison Brooks guiding. Meanwhile, back in Nashville Amy Saffell ran with Ginger Roelle and Rachel Boehrer in the Harvest Half. Coming up in a few weeks, Achilles Nashville looks forward to a road trip to Memphis, TN with 10 athletes and 13 guides for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, where folks will participate in either a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon.

The Passing of Mike Moberg. Recently, Mike Moberg, (below right), an Achilles Nashville athlete passed. Mike was an original member of Achilles Nashville and often seen riding the orange Achilles handcycle on the Greenways and neighborhoods during practices. Achilles was a very positive part of Mike’s life after an injury and rehab several years ago which helped him on the road to fitness and good health. He will be missed.

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2019 CHARITY SLOTS: GUARANTEED ENTRIES WITH ACHILLES

UNITED AIRLINES NYC HALF MARATHON CHARITY BIBS

Did you miss the deadline to enter the drawing for the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half? Or perhaps you weren’t one of the lucky ones in the drawing? We can help! By fundraising for Achilles International, you’ll get a guaranteed entry into the race, a chance to strut your stuff through Times Square and show off the newest medal for your collection -- all while helping a great cause! The minimum fundraising is $1000, which may sound a bit daunting at first -- but once you share stories of our inspiring Athletes and their accomplishments, you’ll be well on the way to your goal… And the finish line in Central Park! Your entry package includes: The official Achilles International racing jersey, the opportunity to join us at our twice-weekly group workouts in Central Park with Achilles NYC and a chance to trek from Grand Army Plaza to Central Park for the experience of a lifetime! For more information, email Michael with 2019 NYC Charity Entrant in the subject line.

For more details click here.

2019 TCS NEW YORK CITY MARATHON

Consider Achilles as your “go-to” charity in 2019!! Official registration for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon begins on March 1st. Run and raise funds for Achilles during the marathon. If you would like us to hold a guaranteed bib for you ahead of time, please contact Fiona.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: JOE SORBANELLI

Congratulations to Joe Sorbanielli who is Volunteer of the Month. Joe is one of those amazing people who exemplifies all that Achilles represents. Joe is Fire Captain with the City of Englewood Fire Department, a World Trade Center 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina Responder. He is also an amazing, dedicated guide to our athletes and in 2017, he helped revive the Achilles New Jersey Chapter. Thank you, Joe, for everything you do for Achilles.

“During the 2015 marathon, I noticed the athletes and guides bright safety green shirts that read “Achilles”. Later I asked my friend, David Goldman, who has been a guide in the past, and when he explained the Achilles’ mission, I thought, “these must be the world’s most amazing people.” Now, I know that to be true.” - Joe Sorbanelli

To read more about Joe, please click HERE

To nominate someone as Volunteer of the Month, please email FIONA.

  Volunteer of the month Joe Sorbanelli guiding Jenny Hwang; Running with the ULTIMATE running machine John Pierre; Joe and group proudly showing off their medals

Volunteer of the month Joe Sorbanelli guiding Jenny Hwang; Running with the ULTIMATE running machine John Pierre; Joe and group proudly showing off their medals

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ACHILLES CONNECTICUT  

Above: Team Achilles Connecticut has been busy! They were out in force at the 2018 Eversource Hartford Marathon on October 13th. Achilles Chapter athletes Cathy Beaudoin, Candice Caesar, Peter Gagliardo, and Maria Bournias!

On November 4th, Team Achilles CT wrapped their race season at a 5K in Hartford, the CT Trial Firm Race to Fill the Pantry 5K.

  Above:    Happy NYC Marathon Finishers    (L to R): Eric Strong of Achilles Charlotte with guide; Harry McKinstry of Achilles CT with Ellie, and George Pacacha flanked by guides Michelle Fargnoli and Philip Asaro.

Above: Happy NYC Marathon Finishers (L to R): Eric Strong of Achilles Charlotte with guide; Harry McKinstry of Achilles CT with Ellie, and George Pacacha flanked by guides Michelle Fargnoli and Philip Asaro.

  Clockwise from Top Left: Stefan LeRoy represents Achilles South Florida at the 2018 Turkey Trot; Achilles Brazil at the NYC Marathon; Achilles Mongolia at the Friday Night Awards Dinner.

Clockwise from Top Left: Stefan LeRoy represents Achilles South Florida at the 2018 Turkey Trot; Achilles Brazil at the NYC Marathon; Achilles Mongolia at the Friday Night Awards Dinner.

September-October Newsletter

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Recently finished writing a book, The Courage to Go Forward with David Cordani, CEO and President of Cigna. It permitted me to reflect back over thirty-five years. Achilles has helped make the world a little better for people with disabilities. Let me explain how, by describing some of our major programs. They are first, a large network of national and especially international chapters; second our Freedom Team of wounded, ill and injured veterans; third, the Hope & Possibility® races; fourth, Achilles Kids; and fifth, the Marathon Tour.

We currently have 29 Achilles chapters throughout the United States ranging from New York to California and Texas to Minnesota. Our first and largest is in New York City. It has multiple groups and several programs. One, for example, with Rusk Institute, part of NYU Medical Center, focuses on people with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). There is some evidence that if you have a TBI, running may improve cognitive and social skills. This requires additional study. We also have three wheelchair basketball teams. There is a tennis program and a Kayak race sponsored by Achilles. In addition, there is a program with the Friedman Diabetes foundation in which we focus on walking, jogging and running as a method of treating diabetes. Finally, we have a very large Triathlon Team including many Ironman competitors. Our members typically enter one mainstream race a month.

Achilles International has teams in forty-one countries and presence in over seventy. A few of our largest chapters are in Canada, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Mongolia and Japan. In several countries we are a leading force in the disability community. Tokyo has over four hundred visually impaired members. New Zealand has chapters in nine cities and Mongolia is responsible for a very successful Hope & Possibility® race with 3300 participants. In a number of countries, we are at the forefront of mainstreaming the disabled population. Our first research project was conducted in Norway and illustrated that if you have Cystic Fibrosis and run, your life expectancy increases.

Our Freedom Team began in 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were introduced to competing in marathons with a handcycle. It is a profound success. While undergoing surgery and rehabilitation, they are participating in mainstream running events. A favorite quote by a member, “Sir, may I postpone the surgery by a week so that I can compete in the Boston Marathon?” Several hundred wounded veterans have competed in marathons. Many, including double amputees, have used artificial legs to run. Not only has it helped them improve physically, but it has introduced goal-setting, competition, and achievement into their lives. Several are currently world class athletes and Paralympic competitors.

The Hope & Possibility® race, introduced in 2003 focuses on integrating able-bodied and disabled athletes competing together. This event provides several categories and prizes for people with disabilities. Amputees, for example, compete with others for prizes. The idea is to encourage mainstreaming. Our largest H&P is in New York where the race is sold out and includes several hundred disabled competitors. There are H&P races throughout the United States and internationally. We compete in Munich, Germany; St. Petersburg, Russia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia or more easily, in Nashville, TN. The race was named after board member Trisha Meili’s book, “I am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility”. 

Achilles Kids includes our largest population. Over 11,000 disabled children run, typically in adaptive programs in 350 schools throughout 21 states. Each child receives a customized map of their city, borough or location with a 26.2-mile course outlined. It’s a virtual marathon that the students complete by running/walking laps each week. The children, with their teachers, track the mileage on their maps. The goal, during the school year, is to complete the distance. Awards include a T-Shirt, certificates, a silicone bracelet, half marathon and marathon medals. We recently completed a study at five schools with the support of the Cigna Foundation which showed that for children who are on the autism spectrum and run, there is significant improvement physically, socially and cognitively.

The Marathon Tour is a series of twelve marathons throughout the United States in which we field teams from twenty-five to three hundred disabled members. It begins in the fall with Chicago, Detroit, Marine Corps, New York and continues through Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach and Boston including others. Our biggest is the NYC Marathon. This year over three hundred Achilles members including almost one hundred in handcycles and wheelchairs will compete. They will represent 32 countries and seventy-one chapters. It is our celebration of growth, having begun with 6 members in 1983. Over twenty-five members have TBI. We initiated the first published correlational study associating running/exercising with cognitive improvement. Trisha Meili is one of the co-authors.

What we are doing is focusing on mainstreaming, the group as a force of motivation, goal-setting and achievement. It is my belief that the group, which we consider a micro-community, is the most powerful tool anywhere to motivate. As people achieve, the next thought is, “What’s my next goal”? In addition, our disabled athletes, completing marathons have an additional advantage...they wear a halo! People see them not as a person with a disability, but as someone akin to Horatio Alger...a hero.

As we celebrate our 35th Anniversary, I have had the privilege to describe this process in our book “The Courage to Go Forward”. I hope you get the chance to read it. #GoAchilles!

Dick Traum, Ph. D.
President, Achilles


DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR ACHILLES E-STORE!

In conjunction with our premium apparel partner Champion System, a worldwide leader in custom technical apparel, new pieces and Achilles classics are now available for purchase here.

AMAZON SMILE!

Don't forget, if you shop at Amazon please shop at https://smile.amazon.com. When you shop here, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Be sure to select Achilles! This can generate a lot of money if we can make it a simple habit for 10,000 people on our contacts + thousands of others in our personal social media contacts. Thank you!


ACHILLES FREEDOM TEAM - MARATHON TOUR

More than 100 Achilles athletes will cross finish lines in four marathons in five weeks! We have strong rosters in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Oct 7th), The Detroit Free Press Marathon (Oct 21st), The Marine Corps Marathon (Oct 28th) and the TCS New York City Marathon (Nov 4th). If you're in any of those towns, come and cheer us on. If you are on social media, help to pump our athletes up with some love and encouragement: 

· #GoAchilles
· #AchillesFreedomTeam
· #Alwaysconquering 

If you are joining us for any of the four marathon weekends---we cannot wait to have epic experiences with you and witness your glory and the power of the Achilles spirit!!!


BIG THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

It’s always a good time to note some of our major sponsors during the start of our marathon season! Big thanks to The Moody Endowment, Michelob ULTRA, the GM Military Discount, DAV Charitable Service Trust, The Union League Club, and The Altschul Foundation for supporting our athletes and our programs this Fall.


ACHILLES KIDS AT THE NEW BALANCE 5TH AVENUE MILE

Sunday September 9th was a dreary, rainy day. A perfect day to stay inside - perhaps with a good book or video. BUT NOT FOR ACHILLES KIDS! The rain didn’t damper their spirit one bit! Over 25 Achilles Kids members and their dedicated guides (who also could’ve been sleeping in!) - stepped up to the starting line near the metropolitan museum and CHARGED down 5th Avenue with such joy and determination! An AMAZING day! Diego led the pack with an astounding time of 6 minutes and 32 seconds with Noah, Julian, Christine and John not far behind, followed by the rest of our amazing Achilles Kids runners! We are SO VERY PROUD of all of you!

The sun came out the following weekend when we held our Volunteer Appreciation Day brunch at our Central Park workout. Thanks to our wonderful families who donated an awesome array of yummy goodies coupled with the outstanding planning and organizing efforts of our three AMAZING volunteer leaders - Angie Bullaro, Carolyn Wynne and Theresa Molloy - we put on one incredible spread! With bagels (plus all the extras), donuts, cookies, coffee, (regular AND Irish!) hot chocolate, orange juice (AND mimosas!) It was a fabulous celebration of all the caring, dedicated, devoted and fun folks who so freely give of their time and energy to help our kids reach the finish line!

This fall we have two more very exciting races coming up for our Achilles Kids. The Terry Fox 5K Run on October 13th and the Dash to the Finish 5K on November 3rd! Look out for our awesome athletes - they are on the MOVE!

Our school program is also on the move! We are thrilled to have added schools in 11 new towns in Maryland, as well as several more in NYC, upstate NY, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania! What a FANTASTIC way to kick off our program - Achilles Kids 25th year!

 Achilles Kids charging down 5th Ave at the NYRR New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.

Achilles Kids charging down 5th Ave at the NYRR New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile.


BIG CHEERS FOR ACHILLES ATHLETE RICARDO CORRAL

Ricardo Corral has won the 5th Avenue Mile race 15 times!! This year, he was awarded a Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of New York for helping the community and athletes on behalf of Achilles International NY and Ecuador. Well done, Ricardo! We are so proud of you!


UPCOMING EVENTS & CHAPTER HAPPENINGS

 THE INAUGURAL ACHILLES FALL COCKTAIL PARTY 

Join us on Thursday, October 4th for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and celebration of the Achilles community as we gear up for the fall race season! Meet incredible athletes and guides and learn how you can support Achilles. Please click here to purchase your ticket! Casual Cocktail Attire. 

Event Details! Thursday, October 4th 7:00 P.M - 10:00 P.M. 
The Park 118 10th Avenue (btn 17th and 18th Street) New York, NY 10011 

THIRD ANNUAL ARCH GLOBAL ADVISORS DAY OF GOLF TO BENEFIT ACHILLES

We are proud to partner once again with Arch Global Advisors for the Third Annual Day of Golf to Benefit Achilles International on Wednesday, October 3rd at Anglebrook Golf Club in Lincolndale NY. The festivities kick off at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast and registration followed by an 11:00 a.m. Shotgun Start! The day concludes with cocktails and a 5:00 p.m. dinner and awards ceremony featuring remarks by Achilles athletes. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the New York City Chapter of Achilles International.

ACHILLES 28TH ANNUAL GALA

On Thursday November 1st, join us as we celebrate the "Remarkable Women of Achilles". Honoring Achilles Athlete, Minda Dentler, Co-Host of The View, Meghan McCain and TD Bank Executive, Tyrrell Schmidt on November 1st at the Union League Club, NYC. Auction and Cocktails at 6pm. Dinner at 7pm. Business Attire. Here is the link to purchase tickets.

ACHILLES AWARDS DINNER sponsored by GM Military Discount

Friday, November 2nd 6 pm to 9 pm @ The Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 7th Avenue between West 31st and 32nd Street, Penn Top Ballroom, 18th floor. This dinner is for all Achilles athletes participating in the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon, their Guides and Marathon Charity Entrants. Suggested donation of $40 for each guest that is not an official athlete or guide - donate online.


VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH:
PATRICIA (PATTI) PATRISSI

Patti joined Achilles in 2017 and hasn’t stopped since! She ran the TCS New York City Marathon the same year, guiding “The Ultimate Running Machine”, John Pierre and has remained an active volunteer ever since. Thank you, Patti, for everything you do for Achilles.

“I know some people worry about commitment or are intimidated by what they imagine guiding will be like. I would want them to know that all they have to do is show up with their personality and their talents and join a family that will appreciate them!” – Patti Patrissi

To nominate someone as Volunteer of the Month, please email FIONA

How and when did you first hear about Achilles?

I first heard of Achilles when I started running races. I would see the athletes with their guides. It was always inspiring, and hearing everyone calling out to cheer Achilles, reinforcing what the running community is really about. That has always been a favorite part of races for me.

When did you first become a volunteer/guide?

I became a guide in July of 2017.

What has that experience been like for you?

It has been incredible! I tell everyone that they should consider volunteering for Achilles. You meet the best people, get to run with inspiring athletes, and get to share something really meaningful. 

Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer/guide.

Last season, John Pierre (“JP”) - the Ultimate Running Machine - went through a deep personal loss. The way his Achilles family came together to support him is something I will never forget. So many people went above and beyond for him. Finding so many people with such heart and caring is really special.

Please name one or two athletes you have guided.

I guided JP, the Ultimate Running Machine, for the NYC marathon in 2017.

Is there anything you would like to bring to the public's attention about being an Achilles Guide?

I am someone who enjoys running on a team and that is what being an Achilles guide is - a team. I know some people worry about commitment or are intimidated by what they imagine guiding will be like. I would want them to know that all they have to do is show up with their personality and their talents and join a family that will appreciate them!

Mention a little about your background.

I grew up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and moved to Staten Island when I was in high school. I was not a runner growing up, I didn't do anything remotely athletic! I am a high school librarian. I guess my other interest is learning, because I just started my third Master's program.  

Anything else you might like to add?

I am so honored that JP nominated me. =)


CHAPTER HAPPENINGS

ACHILLES CONNECTICUT
Achilles Connecticut
- on October 13th Achilles CT has a team of 75 in the Eversource Hartford Marathon, Half and 5K, including Romel Palis from New York City and Cathy Beaudoin from California. For the fifth year in a row, Achilles CT is an Official Charity Partner, this year at the Gold Tier level.

Jillian Harpin, from Wolcott CT, was in the September 10 issue of People Magazine!!  

ACHILLES LOS ANGELES
The Achilles Los Angeles Chapter
meets weekly on Sundays at 9 am along the Santa Monica coast. Here are photos from the chapter's participation in the Santa Monica Classic last month.

ACHILLES MADISON, WI
Achilles Madison Wisconsin
Chapter recently celebrated 13 years together.

The Madison Chapter's end of summer picnic at Garner Park - a great group of folks, yummy food, beautiful weather - can't ask for more.

VARIOUS CHAPTERS
Achilles will be welcoming athletes from various U.S. chapters to do the TCS New York City Marathon: Connecticut, Boston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Greater Phoenix. Two visually-impaired athletes from our Charlotte North Carolina chapter - Eric Strong and Joe Sheerer - will be doing the Charlotte Marathon on Saturday November 3rd and New York Marathon on Sunday November 4th!

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DATES

October 4th - The Inaugural Achilles Fall Cocktail Party

October 7th Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 13th - The Terry Fox 5K Run

October 21st - The Detroit Free Press Marathon

October 28th - The Marine Corps Marathon

November 1stAchilles Annual Gala

November 2ndAchilles Annual Awards Dinner @ The Hotel Pennsylvania

November 3rd – Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K

November 4thTCS New York City Marathon

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