We’re Running a Marathon! Seeking Your Support For The Lauren Fund Run

Posted: September 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Fred Rogers

Nearly 10 years ago, January 29, 2006, the world lost one of its helpers when Lauren Avezzie unexpectedly passed away while vacationing on the Caribbean island of Dominica. My wife Jaime and I attended Pepperdine University with Lauren in the early 2000’s.

As Lauren and Jaime were two of the few students in Malibu from Connecticut, I had the opportunity to get a chance to know Lauren a bit. In the time we spent together, her compassion for the underprivileged, especially kids, was abundantly evident. I remember one conversation with Lauren distinctly, shortly before Jaime and I got married and ultimately transferred schools.

Lauren sparkled as she shared her involvement with at-risk youth in the Hartford area and I related my experience working with kids in Southern California. We dreamed up a future in which we might ultimately team up back in Connecticut someday. Lauren specifically noted that her mom Cindi would be a good person to connect with.
We were in Montana a couple years later when we received a phone call from our good friend Evan Dent with news of Lauren’s premature death. Later in 2006, we moved back to Connecticut and have often thought about Lauren and her family in the years since, looking forward to a day we may be able to continue working with her, the way we dreamed years ago.

Over the past eight-plus years since our return to Connecticut, Jaime and I have had four children and have lived in four homes, but are now finally settling in a bit. With a little stability and a some consistent sleep for the first time in years, I decided I would begin work on checking off my bucket list agenda item of running a full marathon with my wife’s full support. But we can’t do this alone – no, we will be running this together and are asking for your support!

I realize running 26.2 miles is not everyone’s thing, but we are seeking your help now. I will be running the Miami Marathon on January 24, 2016, in memory and celebration of Lauren’s life. We need you to help sponsor the 26.2 miles with all of the funds raised going to the Lauren E. Avezzie Charitable Foundation.

Though we lost Lauren, her passion and spirit for helping others continues on through her foundation set up by her parents David and Cindi. Through their efforts and the compassion of folks like yourself, Lauren’s Foundation is able to donate funds to scholarships and community service awards, food to families in need, books to libraries, help kids go to summer camp, send Christian missionaries domestic and abroad, combat Human Trafficking, fund youth baseball and help other parents grieve their lost children, among other worthy causes here in Connecticut. (see below for the charitable foundation’s full contribution listing for 2015-2016 and visit laurenfund.org for more details).

We are teaming up with Lauren and her family to make a difference here in New England. Will you help us?

By clicking the link below, you can sponsor a mile of the marathon for $100, a half mile at $50 or even a fifth of a mile at $20! Every little bit will help both Lauren’s charitable causes and myself, keeping me focused on the road while training and on the big day knowing we have your support backing us.

Click here to support The Lauren Fund Run at the Miami Marathon 2016!

Thank you so much for your help!

* Note: For anyone who would like to support this effort either financially or in spirit, I would love for you to share a favorite song of yours for the running playlists or anything you may want lifted up in prayer in the comments below, I will be out on the road (and treadmill) quite a bit in the upcoming months and would like to use this time for good.


The mission of the Lauren E. Avezzie Charitable Foundation is to support programs that will help others who are in need. The Lauren E. Avezzie Charitable Foundation was established to bring honor and glory to God’s Kingdom, to keep Lauren’s memory alive and to support places and causes that were important to her.

The complete 2015-2016 contribution listing is as follows:

  • Lauren Avezzie Award – Scholarship at Farmington High School, Farmington, CT
  • Lauren Avezzie Award – Scholarship at The Master’s School, West Simsbury, CT
  • Lauren Avezzie Outstanding Community Service Award – Scholarship at ClassicalMagnet School, Hartford, CT
  • Connecticut Food Bank
  • Foodshare Incorporated
  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Valley Community Baptist Church Deacon Fund, Avon, CT Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • Donation to the Eagle Open-Benefit Farmington Public Schools PTO’s
  • Lauren Avezzie Corner, books donated to Union School library, Unionville, CT
  • Classical Magnet School Library and Reading Program, Hartford, CT
  • Farmington Youth Baseball League
  • Support local and international mission initiatives including:
    • Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU)
    • African Inland Mission
    • Youth Challenge of Connecticut
    • Hartford City Mission
    • Colink-Adam & Sari Abramson, Africa
    • Colink-Daniel Turbiak, Thailand
    • Good Samaritan Community Center, Dominican Republic
  • Hearts that HEAL – Bereavement group for mothers who have lost a child
  • Amirah, Inc. – Boston, MA (www.amirahboston.org)
  • Love146 – New Haven, CT (www.love146.org)
  • Amazon Conservative Team – Arlington, VA
  • Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton, CT
  • Mayor Mike Foundation, Hartford, CT
  • Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camp
  • The Salvation Army
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • Mary’s Place, Windsor, CT (www.marysplacect.org)

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