Hi everyone!

It was only a matter of time before I decided to get off my butt and finally run a marathon. Now it’s finally happening…I’m going to run my very first marathon in Philadelphia, PA, on November 21st. I love Philly, and I have a lot of great memories from racing there in college, so I wanted to add this new experience to the mix.

From the very beginning of my decision to run this marathon, I knew I wanted to raise money for something…but I couldn’t quite put a finger on what. Well, I was lucky enough to spend a week at Lourdes Camp this summer. (www.lourdescamp.com) For all those that don’t know, Lourdes is an overnight summer camp run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. It’s open to boys and girls, ages 7-14, for 7 weeks in the summer. For many, myself included, it’s more of a home away from home. Camp isn’t just about swimming at 9am in the freezing cold Skaneateles Lake, running around in crazy outfits and body paint for Friday night dances, or making up ridiculous rhymes for inspection and buddy-ups…it’s not even about Taco Tuesday or Chef Tom’s fried chicken. Lourdes Camp is a place where amazing friendships are made, and amazing experiences are had, and I was lucky enough to spend 10 summers there-4 as a camper, 1 as a CIT, and 5 as a counselor.

But, at the end of the day, LC is a non-profit organization, and improvements ($$!!!) can ALWAYS be made to make it the best camp it can be. Lourdes also has an incredible Campership program (think scholarship for campers) to financially help families/kids who wouldn’t have the money to go to camp otherwise…And camp also opens its doors to programs for kids with disabilities, such as Enable (http://www.enablecny.org)—so monies raised for my campaign will not only support camp itself, but also these other programs for children in need. Lourdes Camp gave me an unforgettable experience for 10 years of my life, and I am raising money so that kids will be able to have the same memorable experience as I did for years to come.

My run on November 21st will also be dedicated to my amazing friend, Hank Carroll, who passed away September 10, 2009. Hank was a beautiful person inside and out, and words cannot describe how much he is missed. Camp was one of Hank’s favorite places on earth, and I’m excited to raise money for something that means so much to him as well.

So thank you for reading, and please subscribe to my brand-spankin new blog, where you can see what’s inside my mysterious and magical mind as I prepare for my 26.2 mile journey in November. To donate to my campaign, please visit www.active.com/donate/marycrowley

Lots and lots of love, and lots more to come,

Mary