Tag Archives: Charity

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.



Will date for charity

Seniors Taylor Avritt (left) and Kevin Coleman (right) interview senior Cole Bixenman (center). Bixenman became last week’s auction-high draw when two women pledged $125 to a charitable organization to win a date with him. Photo courtesy of Alison Bouchard

What began as a harmless prank to auction off a friend turned into a serious fundraiser for two disc jockeys who wound up raising money to combat breast cancer on Oct. 18 and 25.
KSLC 90.3 FM DJs seniors Taylor Avritt and Kevin Coleman raised $177 when they auctioned dates with several peers Their largest bid was for senior Cole Bixenman, who drew a $125 pledge.
“We were going to auction him off because he was newly single, but with the amount of money he drew, we decided to find a suitable breast cancer awareness foundation to donate it to,” Avritt said.
Coleman said they were obligated to find a good use for the money they raised.
“Once it got over $50, we kinda had to,” Coleman said. “It’s a lot of money to donate.”
Arvitt and Coleman donated the money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer awareness organization, because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Coleman said. They said it was at the behest of the winners of Bixenman: juniors Hilary Hastings and Allison Navarro.
Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority raises money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s efforts during the sorority’s annual Think Pink Week.
“We couldn’t think of anything else,” he said. “There wasn’t much thought behind this. It was pretty spontaneous.”

Senior Travis Tocher (left) works the phones while seniors Taylor Avritt (right) and Kevin Coleman banter on-air. Senior Bryce Comfort (not pictured) assisted Tocher as they recorded the names and pledges of donors.

Hastings said she and Navarro did not intend to donate a large amount of money when they first bid on Bixenman.
“We were going to donate $10 each just for fun,” she said. “$125 later, here we are.”
Navarro said they started donating because they knew the money was going to a charity, and breast cancer research is important to her and Hastings.
On the night of the second auction, Oct. 25, the women delivered an envelope of checks for the foundation to Avritt and Coleman.
Bixenman also made an appearance on the show.
“I found out about it from a Facebook group a day before the show,” he said. “I told [Avritt] no. He did it anyway. I can’t fault them for putting the money toward a good cause.”
The bidding was not limited to Bixenman. Junior Jen Match donated $3 to win a date with Avritt.
Match also made an appearance at the radio station Oct. 25.

Senior Kevin Coleman (above) planned on auctioning off senior Cole Bixenman as a prank. After Bixenman drew $125 in pledges, Coleman said he felt obligated to find a charity to donate the money to. Photos courtesy of Alison Bouchard

The show featured several other men who were auctioned off, including seniors Steven Dark and Beau Slayton.
“It’s kinda fun and for a good cause,” Slayton said.
Seniors Travis Tocher and Bryce Comfort assisted the DJs. While Avritt and Coleman bantered on air and discussed the auction, Tocher answered phone calls and recorded bids.
Current and previous auctionees, last week’s winners and a pair of photographers crowded the control booth for the Oct. 25 show.
This week, the auctioneers made $75, which will go to the foundation.
Avritt and Coleman are planning on changing the recipients of their donations in November, as it will no longer be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Avritt and Coleman began working for KSLC in 2010, during Spring Semester. Their program is called “Gettin’ Hard.”
“It’s basically goofing off for other people,” Avritt said. “We’re trying to do something good with our show.”

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.