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Posted: June 1, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

(RWire) Athletics: ING New York City Marathon Charity Program Aims to Raise $21 Million in 2009

Matthew Reeve to run in support of Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

NEW YORK - More than 6,000 runners representing more than 75 charities - both record numbers - aim to raise $21 million at the ING New York City Marathon 2009, which would be an all-time high for the race, it was announced by New York Road Runners officials. The 40th running of the race will be on Sunday, November 1.

Last year, $18.9 million was raised for the 41 charities included in the official NYRR-managed charity program, and since the program's inception in 2006, nearly $50 million has been raised.

"Raising money for charities to make a difference in the lives of so many is important to our organization," said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners and race director of the ING New York City Marathon. "It is our priority to help charities use the platform of the marathon to raise money at a time when it's a challenge."

NYRR also joined the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation - a marathon charity since 2006 - in announcing that Matthew Reeve, son of the late Christopher Reeve, will run the ING New York City Marathon 2009 as a part of Team Reeve to support spinal cord research. Reeve, who will be running in his first marathon, will wear bib #1275 to represent the 1.275 million Americans living with spinal cord injury.

"Matthew's decision to run in the ING New York City Marathon epitomizes everything this race is all about: the triumph of the human spirit against all odds," Wittenberg said. "The first Sunday in November is always an uplifting day, and we're thrilled to join Matthew in celebrating his first marathon in New York."

New for 2009, NYRR has created the "partner" charity level, a mid-level tier that provides charities with more entries and additional runner amenities, such as a VIP bus to the marathon start and access to the new "charity row" tents at the Fort Wadsworth staging area. Partner-level charities will also receive advertising benefits in New York Runner magazine and additional promotion on

"Official" charities still refer to those affiliated with NYRR, including NYRR Foundation's Team for Kids, NYRR's Champion's Circle and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Fred's Team. The "participating" charity level is an entry-level tier that provides the basic elements of the program.

New charities support community outreach, health and fitness, and disease prevention initiatives. Some of the top charities added to the 2009 program include Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund, whose board president is the actor Edward Norton; Grassroots Soccer, co-founded by Survivor winner Ethan Zohn; the Leary Firefighters Association, founded by actor Denis Leary; and Back on My Feet. Notable New York City charities added to the program include Harlem United Community; Doe Fund - Ready, Willing and Able; Rotary Club of New York and Girls on the Run Manhattan.

A list of the current 2009 charity partners including the Champion's Circle for U.S. athlete development is available at:

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