“I’d like to organize a running event,” Matt Bolton said, rather boldly. Matt was a relatively new member of the VHI Board of Directors in 2007 and his well-received offer came during a brain storming session on how to raise additional funds for the organization’s vision health care work in Latin America. “Runners sign up, pay a small entry fee and then get friends and family to pledge support. We can even get official timers and the race results can be posted.”
Special events can be a nice—but sometimes tricky, not to mention expensive—way to raise funds and awareness for a non-profit organization, and they require a great amount of time and effort to put together. Matt is a young and busy (and often traveling) professional with Allergan, has a young family, and (thankfully) boundless energy. It came as a surprise to absolutely no one that, with the help of friend, colleague, and fellow VHI board member, Derek Mathews and their respective families, Matt’s first “Run To See” Walking and Running Race and Family BBQ was a smashing success.
Businesses in Matt’s Castle Rock, Colorado neighborhood supported the race and over 100 friends and family showed up (some as far away as Grand Junction, Colorado and Napa, California) on a splendid September Colorado morning to run, jog, bike, get pushed in a stroller, or walk the hilly and challenging 5K route. A barbeque lunch greeted the contestants—everyone wearing their colorful and specially made tee shirts—at the conclusion of the race.
In four events, from 2008 to 2011, Run to See raised over $14,000 for VHI, a tremendous feat considering the rigors of staging any special event and a tribute to the close friendships and family ties that were displayed in support of Matt and Derek’s commitment to the work VHI performs. Thank you to Matt and his wife, Missy, Derek and his wife, Lacey, and to all of those friends and family members who made this special event truly special.