Man running race as Disney character to raise money for Laurel Run
Last year, Paul Silzle of Jamestown, NY, raised more than $1,000 for Laurel Run by promising to run the 8-kilometer race wearing a kilt. This year, another Jamestown resident is following Paul’s example.
Steve Waterson, who has been involved with Laurel Run since the inaugural event in 1997, is registered to run in the “Princess Half Marathon” at Disney World at the end of February. To raise money for Laurel Run, Steve has said he will run the 13.1-mile course dressed as a Disney character.
Steve, who also plans to run a few legs of this year’s Laurel Run Relay on July 20, created his own fund-raising page at www.firstgiving.com/trcfoundation. In his online message to potential donors, Steve stated that anyone who makes a donation may suggest a Disney character. He said he will dress up as whichever character receives the most votes.
In explaining why he is doing this, Steve said that as its name implies, the Princess Half Marathon is designed for women, though men are allowed to participate. Many of the participants dress as Disney characters. Steve said he wants to do well in the race, but that he realizes some onlookers may question his sportsmanship if, at the end, he’s sprinting toward the finish line, trying to beat women dressed as Cinderella, Tinkerbell and the Little Mermaid.
“So I decided to dress up too, and turn it into a fund-raiser for Laurel Run by allowing donors to suggest which character I’ll be,” Steve said. “The goal is to get some laughs and to also raise money to support people with disabilities.”
The cutoff date for making a donation is Friday, February 17. “Hopefully, that will give me enough time to create whichever character gets the most votes,” Steve said. “Some of my friends and family members have pretty devious minds, so I’m expecting the worst in terms of costume suggestions.”
Through January 29, Steve had collected $260 in pledges. “Peter Pan” was leading “Cinderella” by one vote. Also gathering votes were “Prince Charming” and “The Mad Hatter.”
To make a secure, online donation and to cast your vote, visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/steven-waterson/laurel-run-relay-run-2012. You also can make an offline donation by mailing a check made payable to “TRC/Laurel Run” to TRC Foundation, 200 Dunham Avenue, Jamestown, NY, 14701. If paying by check, write the name of the Disney character you want Steve to be on the “Memo” line.
This is the third year in a row that Steve has raised money for Laurel Run by creating his own fund-raising web page. He encourages others to consider doing the same thing.
“It’s really easy to set up your online fund-raising page through the Firstgiving web site, and you can link your page to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, add images from Flickr and upload videos from YouTube” Steve said.
He said that when he first created a fund-raising page two years ago, he was hesitant to e-mail his family and friends seeking money. But he quickly found that people were eager to donate.
“Your family, friends and co-workers are actually happy to make a donation to support your cause,” Steve said, “and it’s extremely satisfying to send out an e-mail letting people know what you’re doing, and then receiving messages from Firstgiving letting you know that someone has donated.”
To further encourage people to raise money for Laurel Run, TRC Foundation provides incentives. People can earn a $100 gift card for themselves simply by raising money for Laurel Run.
Ready to create your own fund-raising page and to start raising money? Go to www.firstgiving.com/trcfoundation.