USO Well Represented at NYC Marathon
By Joe Lee
On November 7, the USO joined forces with 10 marathon runners at the New York City Marathon to form TEAM USO, which raised nearly $25,000 for the troops. Each charity runner was responsible for raising $2,500 on their own.
Katie Brown, a New York City native, learned about the USO from a friend, and decided the organization was the perfect charity to support for her first marathon, and joined TEAM USO.
Michael Bozzelli was an active-duty Army soldier for more than six years. He also chose to run his first marathon to support the USO because he remembered the organization being there for him on each of his five deployments overseas.
“Whether it was by a care package or just in the airport passing through, I recall seeing the USO every single time I was out there,” said Bozzelli. “My grandmother has been volunteering for the USO at Fort Dix for the last … 100 years or so – so the organization’s been a big part of my life.”
TEAM USO was developed in response to volunteers looking for new ways to support the troops and their families. The USO provides team members entry to the race, training tips, and a singlet to wear on race-day. In exchange, team members commit to raising funds for vital programs and services for our men and women in uniform.
In an effort to increase team participation and fundraising efforts, the USO has expanded the charity athlete program in 2010 to give runners the option to run in any race around the world as a member of TEAM USO. Since taking on its new structure, TEAM USO runners have raised more than $130,000 for troops.
To learn how to run for TEAM USO, navigate to www.TEAMUSO.org, to find tools and resources. The site can even help you personalize your own fundraising effort with a web page, photos, video, donation tracking software and your personal testimonial encouraging others to support the troops as well.