[Calendar] REMINDER: 27 Miles for Beau (Benefit) This Sunday...
"27 Miles for Beau" Event/Benefit This Sunday
Starbucks Hosts Event to Raise Funds for Marathoner
South Philadelphia Independent News/Media Services
BELLA VISTA-- In the year 2007 there were 392 murder victims in the city of Philadelphia. That number represents not only 392 people, but 392 lost opportunities and thousands of affected family and friends. It is a city whose murder rate surpasses the number of days in a year. These statistics need to be recognized and action needs to be taken, but this can only be done through education: educating adults about safety, educating teens about violence, and educating the world about the lives these victims lead.
Beau Zabel wanted to educate. He came to Philadelphia on May 5th, 2008 with aspirations to become a high school math teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. He moved into my South Philadelphia home and we shared optimism and hope for our soon to be lives as future teachers. Beau accepted a part time job at a Starbucks a few blocks from our home and he took pride in his work at his "dream job". Beau came to Philadelphia with a positive mindset, a comic personality and a desire to foster change and promote hope through education.
Beau's life was cut tragically short when he became Philadelphia's murder victim #139 on June 15, 2008. Beau's late night walk home from Starbucks ended in a fatal robbery that cost him his I pod and his life.
Since June 15th, the citizens of our small South Philadelphia neighborhood, and others throughout the city of Philadelphia, have tried to raise awareness about Beau's life and ambitions. We have united together to create a reward fund, neighborhood crime watch, a unification of community, and a nation-wide search for answers. These efforts have inspired the non-profit organization Witness Justice to become involved.
Kathleen O'Hara, who works on behalf of victims, was outraged by Beau's murder and wrote an op-ed piece for the Inquirer, Friday, June 19. (You can go to the link below to read it). She is a board member of Witness Justice, a national organization committed to victims' rights. Every year, Witness Justice sends a "Team Heal Trauma" to the Marine Corps Marathon, to raise awareness of victims of crime and trauma. This team is comprised of a committed group of runners who run in honor of these victims of crime. The race is Sunday, October 26, 2008, in Washington, DC.
Kathleen's article inspired me to respond (along with a number of family and friends) to thank her for bringing awareness to such a heroic life. Kathleen informed me about her dedication to finding and sponsoring a runner for this team and for Beau.
Kathleen and I joined efforts to find a sponsor to run for Team Heal Trauma in honor of Beau Zabel. Andrew Shanks, the 24 year-old who will be moving into Beau's empty room, is that runner. Andrew will run the D.C. Marine Corp Marathon to represent a person he never got to meet but whose city streets and dreams he shared. By completing this 27-mile run, Andrew will proudly represent all victims of crime, the city of Philadelphia, and the heroic life of Beau Zabel.
We have decided to hold a benefit in honor of Beau as well as all victims of violent crime to raise money to achieve 27 miles. Proceeds will be contributed to Witness Justices' sponsorship of Andrew and his goal to run a race of life that Beau never had the chance to. Proceeds exceeding $1,000.00 will be donated to the Scholarship Fund that Beau's Mother, Lana Zamora, is creating in his memory.
I invite you and all family and friends to attend the benefit that will take place at Beau's Starbucks (4th and South Streets) on Sunday, August 3, 2008 from 4-6 pm.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or ideas! I will be sending out a flyer with all the details. I sincerely hope that you join us and forward this invitation to all of your family and friends.
We hope to see you there
The op-ed piece: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20594479.html
Witness Justice website: www.witnessjustice.org
EDITOR'S NOTE: It doesn't matter what neighborhood you're from; we're all affected by tragedy and senseless violence in Philadelphia. Come out and support Andrew Shanks, as he gives of himself to remember Beau Zabel--who gave his life. D M B
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