Run. Drive. Repeat.

Amy RichmondI am so pleased to introduce Amy Richmond as a guest blogger today. Amy is a member of the Easter Seals National Associate Board (NAB). She and other NAB members recently ran in the Ragnar Relay and raised $3,000 for Easter Seals.

Jumpstarting my Easter Seals fundraising efforts

by Amy Richmond

I’ve always enjoyed volunteering. It keeps me grounded, and helps me separate the important things in life from the trivial. I love being able to redeem a stressful, corporate day by doing something that makes a positive difference (wine also helps, but the benefits of volunteering endure much longer).

Until this year, my volunteer roles had primarily been in direct service. But I reached a place in my life where I felt I could also contribute in an organizational leadership capacity. When my friend Mike Sandy told me about the opportunities on the Easter Seals National Associate Board, I jumped at the chance to be part of the group.

Easter Seals is a world-class organization that helps people from all walks of life through a broad spectrum of services. I’ve found that the majority of people in my social sphere are aware of Easter Seals, but are surprised when I tell them about all of the great work the organization does for children and adults with disabilities, people with autism, veterans and seniors.

It’s easy to support an organization that supports so many people in so many important ways. And I’ve found that others are happy to join the cause once they become aware of all that Easter Seals provides for our community.

My friend Mike Sandy serves as the NAB president, and he suggested I jumpstart my Easter Seals fundraising efforts by running the Ragnar Relay (a 195-mile relay race from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago). My first response was, “uh, no.” I’m not a runner. I’m more like a jogger. I will participate in the occasional 5k fun run if the weather is nice and there’s beer at the finish line, but being part of an intense, long-distance race with a team counting on me to perform seemed out of my league.

Mike assured me that it wouldn’t be competitive, that the race would include runners at all levels, and we could create a lot of buzz about the Easter Seals mission. So I said I’d do it. And as I was explaining the race to my husband, who I was sure would tell me I was crazy for agreeing to this, he said he’d run it too!

The Ragnar Relay is a race comprised of teams of 12 runners who travel in two vans, running day and night until they reach the finish. One of the 12 is always running. The remaining 11 are traveling in the van to deliver the next runner to the hand-off point and pick up the one who just finished. It’s basically: run, drive, repeat. You may have noticed that “shower” and “sleep” were not listed in the steps. I had some serious concerns about those omissions, but I stuck with it.

Way to go, Amy! She sure enjoyed her experience in the Ragnar Relay, and here’s some good news for people like me, who are a little less energetic than Amy: you don’t have to be a runner or a jogger to participate in the Chicago Walk With Me event in October. People of all abilities can support Easter Seals at Walk With Me, and anyone interested can join us for a kickoff breakfast on August 14, too — meet you there!


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  1. Isabelle Neff Says:

    I have a brain injured adult daughter in a wheelchair. I am interested in trips, activities for her. My telephone number is 1-714-970-7682 /would appreciate information on your programs. Her auto accident occurred at the age of 20. She is now 58 years.

  2. Jim Williams Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story about the Ragnar Relay and for all that you are doing for Easter Seals. You and your colleauges serving on the Easter Seals National Associate Board are making a difference and I thank you sincerely for that!

  3. Kelly Perez Says:

    We are so thankful for Amy, Mike and the rest of their Ragnar team members for leveraging a truly unique way to support our mission. Thank you to all of our NAB members and volunteers for your continued support!

  4. Sharon Watson Says:

    We at Easter Seals are so blessed to have the commitment of National Associate Board members like you and Mike Sandy! Thank you, Amy, for all you continue to do to support Easter Seals’ important work! Sharon Watson

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