Senior Nicole Kleinmann will run the Boston Marathon to raise money for the Campus School at Boston College. (Photo by Frank Curran)
Cheers will greet the thousands of runners who will pass by the Boston College campus on April 18 during the 120th Boston Marathon. But there will be a special chorus of cheers—and gratitude—from Campus School students, staff and families for Lynch School of Education senior Nicole Kleinmann, alumnus and former UGBC president Dean Bell ’98, and Dan Murray, all of whom are running to raise money for the Campus School.
(Also running this year is 2013 Marathon bombing survivor Patrick Downes '05, in support of the BC Strong scholarship.)
The Campus School, located in Campion Hall, is a special education day school for students ages 3--21 with multiple disabilities, including complex health care needs.
According to Campus School Marketing/Outreach Coordinator Kristen Morin, funds raised through the Marathon will go to support a variety of enhancements to the highly specialized programs that increase the quality of the Campus School students’ experience.
“I am running to raise awareness for the Campus School and for the need for fundraising,” said Kleinmann, a secondary education and mathematics major from Durham, NH. “I am running for the community and opportunities the Campus School creates in each child’s life, which would not be possible without the Campus School.”
“What drives me to run for the Campus School is more than just the pursuit of a personal goal,” wrote Bell in an email. “I joined the run for the Campus School because I wanted to support something with a focus on enhancing the lives of kids. The mission and objectives of the school align with my values and those embodied by Boston College in its ‘Ever to Excel’ motto, and highlights the Campus School’s mission.”
Hundreds of Campus School Volunteers used to participate in the Boston Marathon as so-called “bandits,” or unregistered runners, raising about $75,000 annually for the Campus School. After the Marathon bombings in 2013, unregistered runners were banned from the course due to security concerns.
One hundred percent of the money raised by this year’s runners will go directly to the Campus School for current year initiatives and to help offset the loss of funds from the events of 2013. Morin says the Campus School is applying to receive approved charity status from the BAA, organizers of the Boston Marathon, effective in 2017.
Kleinmann hopes her run this year will help the Campus School reach that goal. “I want to run in order to help earn more bib numbers for next year. If the CS becomes an official charity in the Boston Marathon, more BC students would be able to fundraise and run for the CS.”
Kleinmann’s involvement with the Campus School traces back to her sophomore year when she joined the Creative Kids club, which paired BC students with Campus School students each week to interact with music. She also has regularly attended the Campus School prom held in the spring.
The Campus School’s location on the BC campus is what makes the place so special, she added: “The Campus School feels like a school and not a hospital.”
To make a donation to the Campus School, go to www.bc.edu/campusschoolgift, select “I wish to dedicate My Gift: In honor of a BC student” and enter Nicole Kleinmann or Dean Bell.
By Kathleen Sullivan| News & Public Affairs