Tag Archives: alum

Alum creates marathon, donates to hurricane victims

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Anderson
Linfield alum Tony Carpenter (center) gets cheered on by friends as he crosses the finish line of his marathon. The marathon took place Nov. 4 at the Tigard High School track.

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Anderson
Linfield alum Tony Carpenter (center) gets cheered on by friends as he crosses the finish line of his marathon. The marathon took place Nov. 4 at the Tigard High School track.

When he heard that the New York Marathon was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, Linfield alum Tony Carpenter chose to run anyway. With the help of Facebook and the running community, he spread the word and donated the proceeds from his “No York Marathon” to victims of the hurricane.

“I didn’t like the idea of training for a whole year. I needed to do something. I felt like if I ran Sunday, that would be like running my own NY Marathon,” Carpenter, class of ’98, said. “When I found out I couldn’t do it, I thought, ‘What should I do?’ One of the first thoughts in my head was I could just run it locally, in the spirit of the marathon.”

Running the marathon in New York is on Carpenter’s bucket list. A lottery determines who will get to participate, and he has been trying to get into the race since 2008. If a runner isn’t selected for three years in a row, they automatically get in. Unable to run last year, Carpenter got to extend his automatic bid to run in the 2012 marathon and began his training in January.

“I’m a runner. It took me awhile to come to that realization. This year I made a conscious decision to do it. It’s something I’ve been trying to do because I’ve never been to New York,” he said. “I’ve done the Portland Marathon eight times and it’s gotten pretty stale for me.”

Just two days before the race, his neighbor called to tell him it was canceled while he was packing to go to the airport.

“I turned on the news, and sure enough, it was canceled,” Carpenter said. “There was some backlash when it was said it would still go on. There was debate about whether the resources could be put to better use, and whether the race should go on or not. I figured it would. I had friends there already. It was a last minute thing.”

Carpenter didn’t let his disappointment get in the way. On Friday, the day the race was canceled, a television station interviewed him as someone who was scheduled to run in New York. He then mentioned his idea of running for charity. By the time it aired, he had already made his decision. Facebook is what made his No York Marathon possible, he said.

“I was going viral from Friday through Sunday. I wanted input on Facebook. The response was overwhelming,” he said. “I have a ton of Linfield connections, running connections and friends from high school. It was a big outpouring.”

On the day of the race, people who saw it on postings and groups showed up to cheer Carpenter on at the Tigard High School track. Out of 105 laps, Carpenter didn’t run a single lap alone.

“A kid I didn’t know ran 15 miles with me,” he said. “There were some Linfield folks I hadn’t seen in a while, people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and some I run with a lot. I had a cheering section the entire way. Typically in a marathon, you suffer alone.”

Carpenter was hurt going into the race, so he knew it was going to be painful. But he was still intent in doing it and finishing the 105 laps around the track- equal to 26 miles.

“I usually start to break down at mile 15 or 18. At mile six I felt like I usually did at the halfway point. I remember thinking ‘I’m in trouble. This might take longer than I thought,’” he said. “I wanted it to end, but I was really inspired and encouraged.”

Carpenter didn’t hold anyone to donations, but he encouraged everyone to give what they could. His friend Emily McKinzie set up the fundraiser website and helped keep track of the money. The No York Marathon donated $462 to the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“It took perseverance and sticking with something I started a long time ago,” he said. “You’re looking at the sacrifices you made for it. You look forward to being able to finish with that, or looking to tackle something new. I was fed up with a lot of unfinished business. I didn’t want to be defeated. All these people had their homes taken away. I still had my home, dogs, family. I figured their situation was worse.”

Kelsey Sutton

Managing editor

Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com.

 

 

Linfield alum advocates for LGBT acceptance

Curt Shepard, director of children, youth, and family at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, discusses homophobia with former Fusion Club president senior Jesse Aerni on May 17 in Ice Auditorium.

Curtis Shepard, the director of children, youth and family at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, participated in a public question and answer session with senior Jesse Aerni, the previous president of the Fusion Club on May 17 in honor of International Day Against Homophobia.

Shepard’s program is designed to assist the thousands of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in L.A.

He said much of his work is focused on moving LGBT youth out of foster care. Many of the gay youth in placement homes face abuse and discrimination from foster families. Shepard attributed this mistreatment to homophobia.

“Families check the box saying, ‘Yes, I will take a gay/lesbian child.’ But when push comes to shove, it becomes, ‘Oh no, no, this is not what I signed up for,” Shepard said.

LGBT foster children are constantly moved in and out of homes, missing educational and bonding opportunities. Hundreds become emancipated at age 18 and are likely to become chronically homeless.

“We want these kids to be celebrated, not just tolerated in these homes,” Shepard said. “We create a sort of wraparound support system, surrounding the kid with love and support while finding a permanent and loving home for them.”

Shepard encouraged Linfield students and faculty to make Linfield a safe environment for everyone.

“You can subtly do things to signal students and make Linfield seem like a welcoming place,” he said.

Shepard also said that students shouldn’t be silent about equal rights based on sexuality.

“Speak up,” he said. “If you hear a derogatory slur like, ‘that’s gay,’ say that it’s not okay. Go to a Gay Straight Alliance meeting. It’s a big risk for students, but you can show support without labeling yourself as gay.”

Members of the staff, such as Gudrun Hommel, associate professor of German, said they found the lecture to be beneficial.

“I think it’s about time that we address this issue,” Hommel said. “I have students who have talked to me about not feeling safe here. I am sympathetic and supportive of these students. For me, it was helpful to hear suggestions about how we can signal that this is a safe environment.”

Shepard donated his earnings from the night’s lecture to fund a similar speaker for next year. Hommel said she hopes for better advertisement to ensure a greater turnout for the next lecture.

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Kelsey Sutton/Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com