Running Towards Helping Others

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      History has it that in 490 B.C., after the Athenian army defeated the Persians at the coastal town of Marathon, a Greek soldier named Pheidippides ran to the palace in Athens, over 25 miles away, dramatically announced the Greek victory, then collapsed and died.  This is the origin story of what we know as the modern day marathon.

      On November 11, Bob Kovell set off on that same journey but with a different purpose.  He ran the “original marathon” to support the Central Minnesota Good Samaritan Fund (CMGSF), an organization that he is passionate about.  As chairman of the CMGSF board, Bob is familiar with the stories of families and individuals in the St. Cloud community who don’t qualify for outside assistance but need a little help to get through a rough period.  Bob wrote a letter to his family, friends and neighbors to enlist their support for the CMGSF as he set off on his 73rd marathon. His goal was to raise $26,200 dollars for the 26.2 miles course. So far he has raised just over $22,000.

      By combining his two passions of running and helping others, Bob’s impact will be felt all across Central Minnesota. The average cost of a Good Samaritan case is $508.56 so Bob’s efforts will benefit many people. For example, those dollars raised may help a single mother fix her car so she can keep bringing her kids to school and get to her job or support an elderly person on a fixed income whose furnace needs repairs. The CMGSF helps with one-time emergency needs.  100% of gifts to the CMGSF are used to help people in need.

      If you’d like to help Bob “cross the finish line” and support the Central Minnesota Good Samaritan Fund, visit

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