Having overcome lupus and the Boston Marathon, Westford’s Sarah Jane Constantine is no stranger to adversity. But in her quest to enter the marathon again this spring, she’s facing a new obstacle.
While many across the nation still analyze the impact of the recession that has hit the country over the past few years, Constantine is seeing one impact in her fundraising efforts this season for the race, which is down nearly $500 compared to last year.
Although Constantine says her illness is generally not impacting her training, she’s had to redouble her efforts to garner the minimum fundraising amount to participate in the race on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation.
So, she’s expanded her search to businesses in the Westford and Chelmsford area who are looking to entice contributors like Applebee’s on Drum Hill.
“This year, it’s been mainly private contributions,” she said. “So, I realized that I can’t just rely on asking people I know, I need something to give back to potential donators.”
Michelle Vidoli, Sarah’s neighbor, had already been thinking about potentially contributing to Sarah’s effort, due in large part to memories of how she felt during her husband’s ultimately victorious struggle over cancer. But the Applebee’s event helped seal her support for Constantine’s cause.
“Even though I just met Sarah six months ago, what she talks about really hits home,” said Vidoli. “I figured coming to Applebee’s would be the easiest way to help since we needed somewhere to celebrate my son’s birthday. It serves as an additional bonus to show him that it’s a good thing to help other people.”
While Applebee’s manager Carl D’Agostino hoped for a larger turnout, he was happy his business could help Constantine in her efforts this year, noting that approximately one non-profit group each month uses the restaurant for their causes in their “Dime to Donate” program: an initiative where 15 percent of bills on certain nights go to local charities.
“Applebee’s is 100 percent behind great causes like fighting leukemia,” said D’Agostino. “We’re happy to help for any good cause.”
More information on the Dime to Donate program at the Drum Hill Applebee’s is available by phone at 978-452-2546 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on how to donate to Constantine’s run in the Marathon is available on the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website.