BOSTON (4/17/13)--Credit unions, thankful that none of their participants were injured in Monday's Boston Marathon terrorist attack, turned Tuesday to making decisions on future credit union events, setting up funds to assist victims and families, and expressing their shock at the turn of events.
The two explosions killed three people and injured more than 144 people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the worst attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
Nine credit union running teams participated, representing Credit Unions Kids at Heart, which teams runners with patient partners from Boston Children's Hospital, said Burlington, Mass.-based EasCorp. They ran with a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the 2013 Boston Marathon season.
"Following the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, we want you to know that all of the Credit Unions Kids at Heart runners, their patient partners and families are safe and sound, and bound for home if they are not already there," said EasCorp on its website. "We are nonetheless sorrowed by this senseless turn of events, and our prayers are for those who were injured or killed."
Runners and their partners and sponsors included:
Kerri Comolli, running for Seamus Slattery, 12, and Igor Ivno, running for Matt Bridges, 9, both sponsored by Marlborough, Mass.-based Digital FCU; Austin Braithwait, running for Timmy Stevens, 20, and Sue Sonia, running for Cameron Murray, 4, both sponsored by EasCorp; Jay Johnson, running for Davis Randall, 10, sponsored by Callahan & Associates Inc.;
Kris Biagiotti, running for her daughter Kayla Biagiotti, 18, sponsored by Money One FCU, Largo, Md.; Ray Phillips, running for Andy Martin, 17, sponsored by Hanscom FCU, Hanscom AFB, Mass.; and Nicole Bedard, running for Everett Chase, 9, sponsored by Jeanne d'Arc CU, Lowell, Mass.; and Tim Burch, running for Kyle Reilly, 13, NASA FCU, Bowie, Md.
It was the first Boston Marathon race for Comolli, Johnson, Sonia, and Ivno.
The Massachusetts Credit Union League also expressed relief that credit union participants were safe. "The people of Massachusetts are still coming to grips with the horrendous events that took such a terrible toll on the peaceful crowd gathered to celebrate a great Boston tradition," said the league's website Tuesday. "This terrible attack saddens us tremendously, but it also strengthens our resolve to move forward and demonstrate our collective humanity.
"It is with relief that we learned that the many fine and generous people who were raising money for Children's Hospital as part of EasCorp's Credit Unions for Kids team, and those [who] were supporting them at the race, were unhurt," the league added. "Their kindness and the spirit of giving that they brought to the marathon exemplifies the values that are needed to triumph over the treachery and evil that violated our great Patriot's Day tradition."
The event is not deterring other credit union fundraising marathons and races. In Smithfield, R.I., the Navigant CU Running Festival Half Marathon and 5K scheduled for May 5 will go on. Race Director Charles Breagy told GoLocalProv.com (April 15), "This is America. No one is going to push us around." He expects runners to be ready to race and said he will work with every town and police group involved in the race route. "We'll take every precaution."
In Kalamazoo, Mich., Consumers CU noted its 4th Annual Consumers Sunburst Run will take place Saturday, with a moment of silence observed. A portion of the race's proceeds will be donated to the victims.
"Yesterday's terrible tragedy at the Boston Marathon shook the running community throughout the world," said the $430 million asset credit union. "What should have been a life-affirming celebratory event ended in confusion, sadness and anger." It noted the many acts of kindness after the bombing. "Runners finished the race and continued running to area hospitals to donate blood. Bostonians offered stranded runners and their families places to stay. Restaurants provided runners and locals with free food."
The Boston Firefighters CU is accepting donations to the Boston First Responder's Fund, formed by the Boston Fire Fighters Local 718, according to the credit union's website. The fund, which will donate 100% of the proceeds to victims and their families, was announced Tuesday on CNN and the Associated Press.
Also announced was a $50,000 reward offered by the union and the Boston Police Patrolman's Association and the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society for information leading to arrests in the bombing.