David and I headed over to Strip by Strega for the 4th annual Heather Abbott Foundation (HAF) Boston Marathon Weekend Fundraiser party on April 15th, One Boston Day. This year marks the 5 year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
The Heather Abbott Foundation (HAF)
Heather Abbott is one of the survivors of that tragic day. Creating the Heather Abbott Foundation is her way of making sense out of a senseless act of violence. This gives her the opportunity to “pay it forward”. The Boston Marathon Weekend Fundraiser is the organization’s biggest fundraising event.
The Marathon Weekend Fundraiser Party is a special event, not just because of the fundraising, but also because it brings so many people together. The survivors of that day in Boston attended as well as some of the people who have been helped by the Heather Abbott Foundation.
David has photographed the event since it started, and I looked forward to attending it this year. The Heather Abbott Foundation helps provide customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic circumstances. This is such a fantastic cause, to give someone the gift of mobility and to be able to have a more normal life again.
The Venue, STRIP
STRIP by Strega was the perfect venue for the fundraiser party. STRIP put out two amazing cheese tables and provided a variety of passed hors d’oeuvres. The beautiful space was large enough for the gathering, with silent auction items and music in a very glamorous setting. A backdrop with the list of sponsors was set up for step-and-repeat photos as well as press interviews. A large number of items donated for the silent auction were set out to help in the fundraising efforts.
HAF Accomplishments and Goals
After guests had some time to enjoy some food and beverages, the speaker program began. I was very impressed with what I learned. The Heather Abbott Foundation has raised over $800,000 since it began. They have donated 19 prosthetics to people in need. They currently have received 133 grant applications from others hopeful for help. The other remarkable point of this charity is that it is run by all volunteers. We also learned about the great fundraising efforts of Boston Marathon running Team Limb-It-Less.
Next we were introduced to special guest, Vidal Lopez. Vidal lost both of his legs in a car accident at just 19 years of age, and received 2 prosthetic legs from the Heather Abbott Foundation which have enabled him to live a more independent life. He gave a great speech in which he talked about his joy in being able to walk and even drive again.
After the speaker program, Heather gave out the 2018 Helping Hand Award to recipient Kevin R. Horst. Kevin is a Boston Marathon runner and has raised over $4000 for the Heather Abbott Foundation.
I had the pleasure of meeting another special guest: Ironman, Scott Rigsby who authored the book Unthinkable: The Scott Rigsby Story. He was very kind and warm to speak with. His story is amazing and inspirational. Scott had run in the fateful 2013 Boston Marathon and spoke with some of the survivors in the hospital.
The Scott Rigsby Foundation does fantastic work with wounded veterans.
Survivor and special guest Erika Brannock was there signing copies of her new children’s book, The Journey of Nem. A portion of the sales from her book were donated to the Heather Abbott Foundation.
The Heather Abbott Foundation Boston Marathon Weekend Fundraiser Party was a great success. It was inspiring to meet so many members of the Boston Strong community. It was also amazing to learn about how much HAF has accomplished in such a short time. We would like to give a shout out to the generous sponsors: Pacific Resources, Gingerbread Construction Company, Strip by Strega, Tito’s Vodka and Georgetown Cupcake. Last but not least, a special thank you to event planner Adam Benoit of Foundation Management & Pro-Productions.