Fleet Feet Menlo Park launches Power of Running campaign with charitable effort benefiting Gwendolyn Strong Foundation

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on August 8, 2015

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Earlier this month Fleet Feet Sports in Menlo Park kicked off a “Power of Running” campaign, celebrating “all that running together, running for good, running to inspire, and running for fun does in the local community.”

This weekend that includes the Power of Running For Good, a nine-weekend charitable effort in partnership with Nathan Sports, Superfeet, Balega International, Adidas, New Balance, Asics, and Addaday. The store will collect a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select products, match this total, and then donate the final sum to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, supporting children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and their families.

“The vendors are donating specific amounts based on the product special that weekend, and we are matching those amounts,” said store co-owner Lisa Taggart. “We haven’t done anything like this before so I’m not sure exactly how much we’ll raise. But I’m hoping for a lot!”

SMA is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Currently, there are no approved treatment options or cure. Menlo Park residents Cherisse and Chad Lunt’s youngest daughter, Lucy (age 6), has the disease. (Lucy, in Chad’s arms, is pictured with her siblings, Dallin (11) and Jocelyn (9).)

“SMA is the number one killer of infants, but most people haven’t ever heard of it,” explained Cherisse. “One in 40 people are carriers but don’t know it. We hope this effort will educate people and prompt people to test for it.”

Lucy will be entering second grade at Oak Knoll school this Fall. “There’s nothing better and more important to Lucy than going to school,” said Cherisse. “Her classmates are so sweet and treat her just like all the other kids. We think it’s important that she can be independent of me for part of her day.

“She’s such a happy child. She doesn’t complain. She recognizes what she can’t do and just moves on.”

The Lunt family has a blog that Cherisse admits isn’t particularly current but might give people an idea of how one family copes with a serious illness.

Other Fleet Feet events include:

• Run Happy Power Hour, created with Brooks Running, where FFMP will try to best competing Fleet Feet stores nationwide with the most number of miles run in one hour. The first Run Happy Power Hour will be at FFMP on August 27 at 6:30 p.m.

• Recess Run, which focuses on the fun in “fun run,” with elementary school–type games. The event will take place on Sunday, Sept. 13.

• The Power of Running to Inspire, a national nomination contest sponsored by Mizuno that will recognize runners who have had extraordinary influence on their communities through running. This effort kicks off later in August.

Photo by Rachel Johnson of Luminosity Photography courtesy of Lunt family

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