Over the years, I have been a volunteer with many charitable organizations – sometimes as a board member, other times as an executive officer and once as the President. And after being away from this kind of involvement, imagine my surprise that I find myself back into it. The cause is Women’s Running, and I am surprised as I am neither a woman nor a runner. At the gym, I prefer the recumbent bike to the treadmill.
Kathrine Switzer has been a friend and a client for nearly 35 years. If you do not recognize her name, search the internet. If you do recognize her name, you know her long history with women’s running: Starting with the 1967 Boston Marathon Kathrine was physically attacked mid-stride in the event by the race director because she was a woman who registered and was running in what was then a men’s only event; extending to her innovative Avon Women’s Sports programs; getting the Olympics to make a women’s marathon an official event; and today, as the founder of a new tax-exempt, 261 Fearless Inc. (http://womenslifestyle.com/kathrine-switzer-marathon-woman-changes-the-pace/)
I enjoy working with start-ups. I belong to an online incubator. I can talk to them about the problems they will confront, guide them through the rough patches, and keep them focused on creating their business through marketing and planning, while not letting them get bogged down in the mundane financial process, which may be overwhelming for them and for which they may not be prepared to handle. For 261 Fearless, I am on the board and I am the Treasurer, an executive officer.
261 was the bib number the race director tried to rip off of Kathrine in that first fateful 1967 Boston Marathon. The number has come to stand for Fearless in the Face of a Challenge. Now, 261 Fearless, Inc. non-profit is a global community of women, be she a walker, jogger, runner, or front-of-the-pack racer, who have found strength, power and fearlessness from putting one foot in front of the other. This strength has allowed Kathrine to overcome doubt and adversity in her life, and she has the ability and desire to give support to other women who want to take on their personal challenges through running or walking. This is a safe community of support, respect, friendship and sharing of accomplishments and a place for women who want to become runners and walkers to find their fearlessness through the connection with others. We take no notice of ability, body-type, religion or ethnicity as we all hold the universal language of putting one foot in front of the other. We communicate on social media as @261Fearless, through closed social channels and personally in our communities, clubs, groups and at events. We are here because sometimes, you just need to know you are not alone.
261 Fearless mission is to bring active women together through a global supportive community – allowing fearless women to pass strength gained from running and walking onto women who are facing challenges and hence sparking a revolution of empowerment. 261 is the symbol that unites us as empowered runners and walkers.
The Board is predominantly women. I imagine they are all runners. I really admire their passion for running and the empowerment it brings to women. I think I have the most extensive business experience on the board. My passion is to help them succeed; to make business decisions clear and easy to understand; to allow them to focus on their programs, the running community and making 261 Fearless a recognizable worldwide name.
If you are a woman reading this, check out the website at www.261fearless.org. If you are a man, feel free to support. Your vital donations are most welcome.
Howard Lipset, CPA
Progressive Management, Inc.