Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 Marathon Calendar and The Blue Card

If all goes according to plan, my 2012 marathon calendar will be as follows:
April 16, 2012 Boston Marathon, Massachusetts - finished in a time of 4:07 on a very hot day (nearly 90)
June 16, 2012 Grandma's Marathon, Duluth, Minnesota
October 6, 2012 St. George's Marathon, Utah
November 4, 2012 New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is going to be especially meaningful for me this year.  I ran it in 2010, having gained entry through being rejected three straight years (a provision they are phasing out).  After I ran Boston, I received a tweet from The Blue Card asking if I was interested in running the NYC Marathon with their charity team.  Upon further investigation, I learned this organization collects money for Holocaust survivors who are in need.  I felt it tied together perfectly my love of running with my recent trip to Poland with family.  My solicitation letter is attached, and if you consider donating, I would really appreciate your support!

Friends and family,

I want to thank you for generously giving to the Blue Card.  As you know, I'm running the New York City Marathon this year to help raise funds for this incredible charity.  I'm sending this update to thank those of you who have already given and ask those who have not had the chance to consider supporting me.  You can donate through imATHLETE at the following website:

[DO NOT REMOVE - the link to your donation page will be inserted here]

As many of you know, last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Poland with my family.  Organized and led by my uncle, David Wluka, whose parents survived the Holocaust, we shared a tremendous journey.  Joined by our family from the U.S., Australia, and Israel we visited the town of Nowy Dwor, where Uncle David’s father, Icek “Hank” Wluka is from, toured the town, attended and participated in the re-dedication of the restored Jewish cemetery, and took a trip to Auschwitz.

The Wluka family had been an integral part of the Nowy Dwor Jewish community since at least the early 1800s, which is what the recovered records show.  Uncle David’s grandfather, a blacksmith, died before the war and was buried in the cemetery.  The story as I understand it is that his grandmother was among those who fled Nowy Dwor and died in the Warsaw Ghetto.  Hank Wluka along with his seven brothers and sisters were trapped in the Nowy Dwor Ghetto.  All were part of the transport to Auschwitz in May of 1942; Hank was the only survivor.

Having been moved deeply by this experience, I returned home to D.C. in search of a meaningful way in which to contribute.  When the opportunity arose to run the NYC Marathon this fall with The Blue Card, it seemed like a perfect fit with my passion for running.  As a veteran of over eighteen marathons in ten states plus the District of Columbia, this will be my first marathon running with a charity.

The Blue Card was established by the Jewish community in Germany in the early 1930s, to help Jews already being affected by Nazi persecution through loss of jobs and other forms of oppression.  In 1939, The Blue Card was reestablished in the United States to continue aiding refugees of Nazi persecution resettling in America. To this day, many of their Board members are the children and grandchildren of The Blue Card's original founders.  After the Holocaust, the mission of the organization was expanded to help survivors of the Shoah from all European countries. It continues its work to this day.

The Blue Card is a fantastic group which assists Holocaust survivors live in dignity.  I hope you will support my efforts to help this worthy organization.

Thank you for your support!

Kenny Ames
Washington, USA

P.S. My next marathon is this Saturday, June 16, in Duluth, Minnesota.  In my quest to run a marathon in every state, I am registered for Grandma's Marathon which hopefully will be my 11th state and 19th overall.  You may track my progress by visiting, and enter my name and follow the instructions.  THANK YOU!!!

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