View from the Starting Line – Our 2023 Boston Marathon Warriors
By Dianne Lynch, One Summit Executive Director
On Patriots Day, Monday, April 17th, 30,000 runners from 122 countries are expected to make the 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to Copley Square. Marking the 10th anniversary of the tragic Boston Marathon bombing, the Boston Athletic Association, the nonprofit behind the race, said this year will be the “fastest and most decorated Boston Marathon across all of our divisions in race history.” The Boston Marathon attracts some of the biggest global stars in running, and this year is no exception. I’m talking about the One Summit Boston Marathon team!
Since 2016 we have participated in the John Hancock Charitable program, supporting runners that sacrifice and fundraise for our mission. This year’s team features a mix of One Summit Mentors (including three past marathon runners), Team Leaders, Young Professional Board members, and lifelong friends of our organization. Read on to learn more about each of our outstanding runners who will hit the pavement in Boston in just under two weeks.
Brent Vonroth, One Summit Supporter
One Summit and the “Little Warriors” have been dear to my heart since 2013 when my childhood friend and founder, Adam LaReau, found inspiration to create One Summit stemming from his experience as a Navy Seal, his mother’s fight against breast cancer, and his volunteer work with a variety of cancer-related organizations. Knowing Adam’s determination, vision, and direction, I am proud to be part of the cause as a volunteer to raise money for such a wonderful organization.
This year I have extra motivation and purpose. My cousin Daniel, who was diagnosed with an astrocytoma brain tumor in 2015, lost his battle in 2020. Before his passing, in 2019 I raised money for One Summit and ran the 123rd Boston Marathon. Daniel was an integral part of my motivation and journey. He was an honorary “Warrior” and was treated by the One Summit volunteers as one of their own. Together we raised over $16,000.00. My medal resides now in Lehi, Utah with his wife Monica and their children, Samantha, Connor, Brooklyn, and Avery. My goal this year is to beat my 2019 numbers and to bring the 2023 Boston Marathon Medal home to Nutley, NJ.
Christopher Merendino, One Summit Mentor
I have been involved with One Summit as a mentor for several years and was on the Boston Marathon team in 2018. It is indescribable how this organization deeply impacts everyone involved - the mentors, the mentees, and everyone who volunteers as part of the events. One Summit fosters healing, inspiration, and energy, and it is a tremendous honor to be involved.
Will Parker, One Summit Mentor
One Summit is an incredible organization with a mission and cause that is very close to my wife and my heart. The hope, help, and support that young cancer patients receive from One Summit volunteers are incredible and inspiring.
Running for Team OS is a great opportunity to be part of Team One Summit. promote and share the One Summit Mission. Boston is an amazing race and I would be honored to run for OS.
Lily Ford, One Summit Supporter
I am honored to be running for such a great cause, I have witnessed the impact of the foundation and look forward to raising money to continue their efforts. Hearing from the guys who have been mentors, or have attended a Climb for Courage event you can tell the impact it can have. I would love to be a part of something that is bringing so much inspiration, empowerment, and strong relationships to kids that need it the most.
Temple Sloan, One Summit Mentor
I would like to run as part of Team One Summit because I believe in the spirit of your mission. Providing kids with the tools and experience to develop the resilience needed to battle cancer is a cause worth supporting. Now that I am no longer on active-duty I continually look for ways to give back to my community and I can think of no better way than to support an organization with the mission of Team One Summit.
Nick Heath, One Summit Young Professional Board Member
I am extremely passionate about providing opportunities to children battling cancer a chance at a better quality of life. I believe that mission of One Summit does just that in addition to helping them become more resilient human beings and preparing them for the rest of their lives. I believe that my passion for running and fundraising will raise awareness of One Summit as an organization and can potentially help deliver on its mission!
If you are out and about on race day, stop by and visit our small but mighty cheering station. We will be in place after 10:00 am at the Newton Fire Department Station 2, 1750 Commonwealth Avenue, Auburndale, MA 02466 (Right near the Mile 17 marker and shortly before Heartbreak Hill). All spectators are welcome to join in and can meet us on the Washington Street side of the station.
As we say our goodbye, we offer a profound thank you to our incredible partners since 2016 at John Hancock Charitable. We look forward to a continued partnership with the BAA and their new sponsor, Bank of America, in the years ahead. In the words of this year’s Grand Marshal, David Ortiz, “Stay Strong” (amongst other things). Boston is a resilient community, as is our remarkable team of runners.