2023 Marathon: Kristen O’Rourke for Wildflower

Above: A resident is using the Marathon to help children who have lost a parent, and their families. (image cropped from Facebook page and Wildflower logo)

[The Boston Marathon always includes a pack of runners from our town. Between now and Patriots Day, I’m featuring stories of resident runners donning bibs for a cause]

Kristen O’Rourke is another of the Southborough runners using the 127th Boston Marathon to support a cause “close to her heart”. Funds she raises for Wildflower are to help 110 children who have lost a parent, and their families. The non-profit will pay for kids to attend camp this summer.

Kristen O'Rourke (center) from Fundraising pageOn her fundraising page, she explains:

It is hard to imagine anything more devastating to a child than the loss of a parent. Wildflower strives to help these young families with a unique approach. It starts with the gift of camp! Camp is more than a fun adventure. Summers are often the most challenging time for single-parent families. While parents work, children need a safe, nurturing place to go when the school year has ended.

The experience of carefree summer days, the comfort of making new friends and wonderful mentors, and a break from the pain and stress at home are invaluable for grieving children, and a much-needed respite for the surviving parent. A child’s anticipation of another year at camp can soften the life stresses that come with the loss of a parent.

Wildflower’s mission resonated with me as I think about how this organization could have greatly impacted my Mom, Aunt and Grandmother when my Grandfather died when my mom and aunt were a young age. How incredible would it have been for all three of them have been supported by an organization such as this one.

To read more and support the fundraiser, click here. To learn more about the cause, click here.

[Note: If you are a Southborough resident using the Marathon to raise funds/awareness for a cause, please reach out with your information. Email mysouthborough@gmail.com.]

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