Summer 2006

Dear Friends and Family:

I’m writing to share some exciting news with you. On Sunday, October 22, 2006 I will be running the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. Unlike most marathons…oh wait, I’ve never run a marathon before so I don’t know anything about most marathons…but this one is going to be special to me for several different reasons: 1) It’s my first; 2) I’ll be running with my brother in his first marathon as well; 3) I’ll be running for a charity organization and a young man who is supported by them.

I will be running the marathon as a member of the Opportunity Enterprises Running Team. Opportunity Enterprises is a non-profit organization promoting self-sufficiency and life choices to challenged individuals and providing services for mentally and physically disabled individuals. I have the privilege of running in support of a specific individual named Jeffrey Qualizza.

As I train for the race and think about race day, I have a few goals in mind. First, I would like to raise the needed financial support for Jeffrey; Second, I would like to finish the race (in under four hours); and third, I would like to enjoy sharing the experience with 40,000 other runners.

To help me achieve these goals, I’m going to ask a couple of things of you. I would like to ask for your financial support as I have committed myself to raise $500 in support of Jeffrey and Opportunity Enterprises. I would also ask that you keep me in your prayers as I have never done this before and I am a little nervous (and super excited) about this whole venture.

If you’re interested in supporting me financially, you may choose to donate a total dollar amount or you can pledge a specific dollar amount per mile I run. A schedule of possible contribution amounts is below.

–$10 per mile for a total contribution of $262.00
–$5 per mile for a total contribution of $131.00
–$3 per mile for a total contribution of $78.60
–$2 per mile for a total contribution of $52.40
–$1 per mile for a total contribution of $26.20
–Other $ amount

How can you give? The easiest way is to go here and make a donation in my name and all the money will go to Jeffrey. Or you can call Opportunity Enterprises at (219) 464-9621 and donate over the phone. The last option is to send a check. If you want to send a check, you’ll need a pledge sheet to send in with the check, so just let me know and I can get you one.

I know it’s a little last minute, but I actually need to raise all the money by August 4th. Whatever you can give would be greatly appreciated and all donations are tax deductible.

I am so looking forward to running this marathon in October. If you’re interested in coming out and supporting me in Chicago, and making a trip out of it, we would love for you to join us. Or if you are interested in my training, you can follow my schedule and make sure I’m keeping up my end of the commitment by reading this blog. I will post daily and weekly information regarding my schedule and hopefully you will keep me in your prayers.


Rhett Smith