2024 Marathon: NECC’s team of ten

Above: A Southborough resident is using the 2024 Boston Marathon to raise funds for NECC shared news on the ten team members who will run to support students of the Southborough based institute for autism research, care, and education. (image from NECC’s website)

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

The New England Center for Children (NECC) has a team of ten runners committed to running the 128th Boston Marathon and raise money on their behalf.

The website for the Southborough based institute promotes the team as running “to shine a spotlight on the importance of autism education.”:

This year’s team is comprised of runners from across the U.S., including Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas, all with the goal to raise awareness for autism, special needs, and NECC’s work in their own communities.

Over the last 15 years, Team NECC runners have raised nearly $1 million in crucial funds for NECC students through the Boston Athletic Association’s (BAA) non-profit charity program. Every dollar raised by NECC’s Boston Marathon runners directly benefits students through the Annual Fund, which funds crucial areas not covered by tuition, such as student activities, individual student needs, off-campus activities, specialized technology, student equipment and materials, and vocational opportunities. It also supports NECC staff development, research and training opportunities, as well as DEI initiatives and employee resource groups.

The runners include two employees at NECC:

Helen Hedman is “an education coordinator who has worked at NECC for five years and is running in support of her students and fellow teachers.”

NECC Patrick Story from websitePatrick Story is a 15 year employee of NECC. The website profiles:

“I started my job not knowing anything about autism or the children, families, and communities it affects. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about autism and have seen the fantastic work the teachers and staff do to support the amazing students at NECC,” shared Pat, who has had a number of positions at NECC over the years and currently works as an assistant director in the project management office at NECC.

Though he’s never run a marathon—or anything more than a 5K prior to running the Falmouth Road Race for Team NECC last August—he has seen “firsthand the vast opportunities and services the money raised from the Boston Marathon provides to the students, and it inspires me to challenge myself to complete this difficult race for them,” he explained.

To learn more about the team (or NECC) and support their fundraising, 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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