The Portage Basis begins the Extremely ’21 Society fundraiser

Lindsey Loftus runs the 100 mile Burning River Ultramarathon to raise awareness of the Portage Foundation, of which he is executive director.

“My goal is to finish the race in 24 hours or less,” he said. “I dedicate this run to the people of Portage County, and especially to the people who cannot run.” Our work is about our commitment to serving our community in the long term. “

Loftus is asking the community to virtually experience the race with him and to support the Portage Foundation by contacting the Ultra ’21 Society at / join.

Loftus collects testimonials from fund owners, fellows, and fellows asking them to share their “why” and references a particularly powerful reflection on the “why” from George Callahan, a Burning River 100 participant in 2018.

When asked why he did the run, Callahan stated, “I’ve never been disturbed or in a place of fear or regret because of my ‘why?’ – my intention – warmed the glow of the drive. “

“It is important that our community understand why our fund owners support us and why fellows continue to do the valuable work in our community,” said Debbie Smeiles, President of the Portage Foundation Foundation. “

The testimonials will now be shared through the foundation’s Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube channels through race day, July 24th.

The Portage Foundation has 11 priorities: Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Children, Economic Development, Education, Elderly, Environment, Health, Human Services, Scholarships, and Veterans. In 2020, the foundation awarded community grants and fellowships totaling more than $ 140,000.

“But we can do better,” said Smeiles. “The foundation is a hidden gem in our community and not everyone knows us. The Ultra ’21 Society aims to create awareness of the foundation, our work and an incentive to get involved. “

Loftus started running in college to keep in shape, but he smoked cigarettes. In 1992 Loftus quit smoking and set himself the goal of running a marathon. He would get there in just over 3 hours and 44 minutes at the 1993 Cleveland Marathon. In 1999 Loftus ran the Pittsburgh Marathon with a personal best of 3 hours and 6 minutes, a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon. Loftus took part in the Boston Marathon and finished it in 2000.

After Loftus returned to northeast Ohio from Pittsburgh in 2000, he discovered Cuyahoga Valley National Park and its network of trails. Running took on a new and more interesting meaning.

“I was caught up in the tranquility and beauty of the trails,” Loftus said. “I could run farther than ever and I started to wonder – how far could I run?” Loftus competed in 50 km (31 miles), 50 mile and 10 mile races across the region.

Loftus will represent the Portage Foundation when he runs the Burning River 100-mile ultra-marathon in Cuyahoga Valley National Park on July 24th, starting at 4 a.m. He’s asking the community to join him virtually by making a $ 100 donation for 100 miles.

“Joining the Ultra ’21 Society is a great way for current donors to reconnect and for new donors to get involved,” said Smeiles.

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