The journey of rebuilding your life is like running a marathon: one step leads to another, mile after mile.
Thanks to John Hancock’s Marathon Non-Profit Program, St. Francis House is honored to be a part of the historic Boston Marathon® with a team of incredible individuals running in support of our organization each year.
We are so thrilled to be among the organizations selected by John Hancock to participate in their Non-Profit Marathon program. We have been awarded six in-person bib entries into the historic 125th Boston Marathon.
To complete an application, please click below:
As a former member of the cross country & track team in high school, Jose describes running long distance as always having been in his blood. He ran his first marathon 12 years ago and fell in love with the sport. Now, Jose has completed 75 marathons and continues to run races every chance he gets. He describes that running 26 miles is not easy, it’s hard and painful, but he has learned to overcome the physical and mental challenges that come with running a marathon.
The best advice Jose has received – for running and for life – is to always look for the next challenge as soon as you’ve completed one. Staying true to this motto, after completing his first marathon he went on to compete in an Ironman race in an effort to continue to challenge himself, both physically and mentally.
This marathon means a lot to Jose because he will be contributing to a great cause and hopes to motivate other people to follow in his footsteps. He states, “If I could offer encouragement to the men and women who come to St. Francis House for help, I would tell them to never give up, no matter what challenges come their way. Remain positive and fight through the tough times, there will always be people looking to help you.”
Marlene first started seriously running as a participant in an exercise/nutrition study at BU. As a member of the running club Heartbreak Hill Striders she has enjoyed the new friendships she’s created while running. Running has taught Marlene that if she makes a plan and has options, she can reach her goal. While running, she tries to listen to her breath, her feet hitting the ground and observes the meditative movements. She focuses on thing at a time, one mile at a time.
This marathon is important to Marlene because she is hoping to make a difference and help the Boston community. If she could offer encouragement to the men and women who come to St. Francis House, she would tell them that everyone has challenges and obstacles, yes, but believe every day is a gift.
A huge thank you to 2020 Boston Marathon® Team St. Francis House who dedicated themselves to raising critical funds for St. Francis House, despite the coronavirus canceling the original race. Three of our runners, Dan, Brendan, and Lauren, conquered the virtual race, and all together, our team raised $65,000 for our services. We cannot thank you enough!!
Oliver Bilal, Head of International Sales and Marketing at Natixis Investment Managers would be running his 3rd Boston Marathon® and is excited to be a part of Natixis’ longstanding relationship with St. Francis House. Oliver believes that as a global company it is important for Natixis to expand their understanding of the focuses and initiatives of their offices.
Justyn Mayo joins Team St. Francis House as a first-time marathoner, but considers himself an avid and advanced runner, having most recently completed Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon in 2017! Justyn is trainer at Fitclub Wellesley, where he works with Wayne Maloney, one of Team St. Francis House’s 2019 runners!
Dan Moran is a St. Francis House volunteer through his company, Athena Capital Advisors LLC, and is excited to be a part of St. Francis House’s mission to help and improve people’s lives by providing everyone with the strong support system they deserve. Although he is an intermediate runner, this would have been Dan’s first marathon!
Carrie Neff is St. Francis House’s own Event Coordinator! This would have been her first marathon but she is no stranger to endurance events, having completed two half marathons and several years of the Pan Mass Challenge. She feels honored to embark on this incredible journey, inspired by her father, who first introduced her to St. Francis House’s life-changing mission when he joined the Board of Directors 12 years ago.
Brendan Stack switched up his commuting route to work one morning in 2018 and suddenly found himself passing by St. Francis House – he decided right then and there that this would be a perfect place to give back to his community on a local level and has been volunteering weekly in SFH’s kitchen ever since. Furthermore, Brendan has been an extremely active member of SFH’s Emerging Leaders young professional group helping to plan events and raise money for St. Francis House. This would have been Brendan’s opportunity to fulfill his goal of running his first Marathon and he is excited to raise money for St. Francis House since he has seen firsthand that the money will go to a well-run organization that provides a vital service to members of our Boston community who are in need.
Lauren Ward planned to complete her first marathon as a part of Team SFH! Lauren is no stranger to raising money for a good cause – she works as the New York Program Coordinator for Youth Service Opportunities Project, engaging youth in meaningful service experiences. She is excited to contribute to St. Francis House’s mission and also to serve as an example that in order to see change you have to make change.
These five individuals successfully hit the pavement and raced to the finish line of the 2019 Boston Marathon®. Adam, Kayla, Marlene, Chris, and Wayne put their training to the test as they run what many have described as a marathon unlike any other. Some have run the Boston Marathon before, others embarking upon the course for the very first time. We are so proud of all of them and extremely thankful that they represented Team St. Francis House – the Team raised $103,056 .20 in support of our guests and the life-saving services offered every day!!
Adam Packer ran his third marathon; however, his first as a member of Team St. Francis House. Adam’s father introduced him to St. Francis House where he first learned about the mission of rebuilding lives by providing refuge and pathways to stability for guests. Deeply resonating with the mission, Adam chose to run this year’s marathon for St. Francis House.
Kayla Packer joined Team St. Francis House as a first-time marathoner. Kayla has volunteered with homeless shelters before and felt drawn to run for St. Francis House, in honor of the many services and programs offered to guests as they rebuild their lives. Kayla ran on Team St. Francis House alongside her brother, Adam!
Marlene O’Donnell is no stranger to marathons, having run over 30 marathons, half-marathons, and triathlons. This was Marlene’s sixth Boston Marathon and first for St. Francis House. As a nutritionist, Marlene understands the importance of healthy nutrition and the toll lack of healthy meals takes on the body, particularly amongst those experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Chris Hogan completed his fourth marathon running for St. Francis House. Chris learned of St. Francis House through mutual friends who are involved with the organization and is excited to be involved with the mission in this unique way.
Wayne Maloney fulfilled a lifelong dream of running the Boston Marathon. Wayne finds similarities between his job as a personal trainer and the mission of St. Francis House as both aim to rebuild lives in their own ways. With his own small cheering section of his five children, Wayne successfully crossed the finish line in Apri 2019l, proving to himself and to his children the power of “speaking dreams into existence.”
Thank you to these five amazing individuals and everyone who supported them in 2019!
2018 Team St. Francis House
Mother Nature pushed all the 2018 Marathon Runners to their limits – Team St. Francis House included. In the rainiest, and windiest race in decades, our five runners all made it to the finish line on Boylston Street. We are thrilled to announce that Team St. Francis House has raised over $90,000 for the wrap-around services St. Francis House provides guests 365 days a year. Meet our team below!
Our 2018 Team is generously sponsored by Webster Bank.
All funds raised by Team St. Francis House will go towards the wrap-around service 365 days a year. Dave Cavanagh I am very excited to be running the 2018 Boston Marathon as part of the St. Francis House team. SFH is an incredibly impactful organization that helps poor and homeless men and women every single day. Please join me in supporting their mission! Andrea Clavijo I am so proud to have partnered with St. Francis House as a member of it’s 5-person team for the 2018 Boston Marathon. As a loved one completes their cancer treatment over the next few months, I pledged to run a marathon in solidarity, and support them in the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do. St. Francis House took a chance on a novice runner like myself to make this marathon-running effort a reality and ultimately a win for cancer AND homelessness. I hope you will consider contributing to my cause and helping me cross that beautiful finish line on my favorite day of the year. Meghan Grieves I am beyond excited to be running my first marathon for St. Francis House. This incredible organization rebuilds lives by providing refuge and pathways to stability for adults experiencing homelessness and poverty. This marathon will be extra special for me, as I will be running alongside my dad. We both will be running in honor and memory of my uncle Ricky, who was born with Down syndrome and passed away 10 years ago. My uncle displayed joy and unconditional love to everyone he met, and always looked to help those around him. He had such a gracious spirit and love for life, and I am so grateful for the impact he had on my life. I can’t wait to run my heart out for him. Keirsa Johnson I am very excited to be running the Boston Marathon for St. Francis House this year. After college I spent a year and a half as AmeriCorps member working for an organization serving the homeless population in Southern Colorado. I saw first hand the challenges of providing a broad menu of services to shelter guests – from hot meals and clean clothes, to life skills coaching and affordable housing – and how incredibly important those services were. St. Francis House provides those vital services in the Boston community and I am proud to be part of their 2018 Boston Marathon Team. Kristin Carroll Boston has always been like a second home to me – my family is there and I spent my first years out of college starting my career there. This year I have been given the unique chance to do two things I have never done before: run a road marathon and be part of a fundraising team. It is incredible to be able to do both at the Boston Marathon. The people at St. Francis House in Boston give opportunities to people in need that they might not have had somewhere else. Being able to contribute to this cause will make this marathon, a bucket list experience for me, more than I could have ever imagined. Being a ‘social runner’ in college I wouldn’t have believed how I could challenge myself as an adult runner, running for health and now running for the benefit of others. I have run distances from 5k’s to 50 miles on roads and trails. This distance, the 26.2, will be my first on the road and my first charity effort. I am thrilled to do it at the Boston Marathon.
This year our team aims to raise $69,000. Donate to a specific team member, using links below, or make a donation to be spread across the team. All funds raised by Team St. Francis House will go towards the wrap-around services we provide our guests 365 days a year. Justin Dancu I am excited to be running my FIRST marathon ever this April as part of the St. Francis House 2017 Boston Marathon team. I was lucky to learn about St. Francis House this past summer as a volunteer in their kitchen. Now a member of the Emerging Leaders Board, I continue to see first-hand the generosity and love fostered by the St. Francis House team for their guests. Joshua Gannon I’ll be running the greatest road race in the world on behalf of St. Francis House, a wonderful organization that I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer with through my workplace. I hope you’ll all help me support all the great work being done for our community here at St. Francis House. Ty Hapworth I’m a big believer in St. Francis House’s mission that poverty and homelessness are not identities. My team at Microsoft has partnered closely with St. Francis House, helping with vocational training, resume writing and Microsoft Excel training. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to raise money for this cause and fulfill a lifelong dream of running Boston! Samuel Macomber I totally admire St Francis’ unconditional open doors and my grandparents inspired me towards service from a young age. But most off, I am challenged to finish a marathon after breaking my leg in a crash before my final season of NCAA ski racing I spent 15 weeks on crutches. This is my athletic comeback. It was cool to walk again, really cool to ski again, and it will be liberating to finish Boston. I’m proud to be a volunteer on at St. Francis for Waffle Wednesdays. My first fundraising challenge is to get 150 $6 donations. Each meal at Waffle Wednesday costs ~$1.50, so your $6 gift will provide breakfast for 3 folks in Boston! Frank Mastrocola
This marathon is a huge challenge for me. I’m 63 and haven’t been running. But, I’ve done a marathon before, and have confidence that my body will respond again to a training schedule. So, physically, it will be a challenge, but one that I believe can be met. The fact that I am running as a member of the St Francis Marathon Team, makes it meaningful. I have never raised money for a cause before. My wife and I donate to many charities, but I have never asked friends and family to support a charity that I believe in. In my spare time, I enjoy family, watching Charlie Rose on PBS, and reading about politics and government. Judy and I are in hockey rinks a lot. My daughter and son both play hockey. And, lately, I like to run!
What inspires me? The clock! At 63, I know life goes by quickly. I try to pack as much meaning and significance into each day.
I would encourage all SFH guests to not compare themselves to anyone else. Just compare yourself today with yourself yesterday. Make today better than yesterday. That’s it! With time, you’ll be in a different place.
We were so thrilled to have six runners who completed the 2016 Boston Marathon® to benefit our guests and support our life-changing programs and services, helping raise a combined $55,000. St. Francis House was granted five bibs through the John Hancock non-profit marathon program. In addition, Jen Nodelman, who sits on the St. Francis House Board of Directors ran again for Team St. Francis House with a bib of her own. Each runner has a unique story about why they run and what this marathon means to them as they #runbold this year!
Meet Team St. Francis House
Kara is honored to be a part of Team St. Francis House, which gives her the opportunity to contribute to an organization that plays a critical role in the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who are experiencing homelessness in Boston. Kara first learned about St. Francis House through her parents who have been inspirational and dedicated supporters of St. Francis House. About 10 years ago, her parents worked with St. Francis House to establish the Carolyn L. Connors Women’s Center, a space for women to heal and rebuild their lives utilizing the agency’s excellent counseling services. Kara is excited to continue to support this legacy, to honor her mom, and to raise money for St. Francis House so that they can continue their incredible work!
The Boston Marathon is a bucket list dream for Kevin. Not just running it, but finishing and doing well. But more importantly, being able to represent St. Francis House and bring more awareness to the city of Boston about a great organization and the work being done brings him great satisfaction. Kevin is a sports fanatic, whether it’s participating or watching Boston’s teams. His advice for running? “Control what you can control, bet big on yourself, stay positive, take care of your feet and always try to go with the wind!”
Molly is a brand new Boston resident as of December 2015 and she cannot WAIT to run the Boston Marathon this April as a member of Team St. Francis House! Molly is a fundraising professional, having worked in development for eight years. Molly understands the challenges of raising large sums of money but is confident that the mission of St. Francis House, combined with the iconic Boston race will yield great success in terms of dollars raised for the House. Boston will be Molly’s second marathon, having completed the Carlsbad Marathon in January 2013.
Christine’s connection to St. Francis House is strong. As a former instructor in our Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program, she’s seen lots of men and women come to St. Francis House for help. She has witnessed many people knocked down by life’s challenges who were willing to stand up and try again. She learned that similar to running, “Those who are willing to put in hard work will see amazing outcomes and results.” When Christine heard that St. Francis House had a Boston Marathon team, it was fate. “It is wonderful to raise money for an organization so near and dear to my heart and to know exactly how well the money we raise will be put to use.”
As a first time marathoner, David is thrilled to be running for Team St. Francis House. Running a marathon has been a lifelong goal for David, who began running long distance when he served in the Army. He enjoys the mental and physical challenges of running. David encourages others to remember that things are never as bad in hindsight as they seem when you are experiencing them. For six years, David and his father have dedicated themselves to growing their family business through hard work and an honest, straightforward approach to business. This work ethic is the same that he plans apply to his marathon training. David enjoys spending time with his wife and son, golfing, and rooting for the New England Patriots.
Jennifer is so excited to be running the Boston Marathon for St. Francis House again. As a John Hancock employee, she was able to receive a number in the company lottery and selecting St. Francis House as her charity of choice allows her to combine her passion for running with her passion for the mission of St. Francis House. Jennifer serves on the Board of Directors at St. Francis House and is thrilled to be able to continue to raise awareness for the needs of our city’s homeless population. Jennifer started running full marathons in 2008. This will be her 2nd Boston and 19th overall full marathon, and definitely her favorite! For any first time marathoner, Jennifer’s advice is to savor every minute – just have fun with your run!