The little state of Rhode Island experienced the large influence of the FA community on June 2nd. Not only was it Matt DiIorio’s 34th Birthday, but it was the official Kick-Off Bash for the annual Race for Matt & Grace. Coming into its 6th year, the 5K race in the fall honors native FA’ers Matt DiIorio and Grace Hopkins, serving as an opportunity to increase awareness and raise funds for FARA-backed research.
This year, the race will be held September 26th at Bryant University, RI. But the festivities are just beginning! Several years ago, devoted family and friends of both Matt and Grace expanded fundraising efforts beyond the race, establishing a “season” of fun events leading up to the 5K.
Last week marked the 2nd year of the Kick-Off at McShawn’s Pub in Cranston, RI. The bar was packed as everyone enjoyed discounted drinks, fresh food, and live music. I enjoyed spending time with the DiIorio and Hopkins families (amazing people I hope everyone gets to meet), and got to meet a new friend, Jennifer McLeod who made the trek down from MA! It was a fun evening with nothing but smiles and laughs – I even won a yoga gift certificate from my raffle tickets (…someone is trying to tell me something!). Door donations and raffle proceeds helped FARA raise $3000 in just a few hours – great job to everyone helping to host the event!
If you live or find yourself in the New England area this summer, be sure to check on the FARA sponsored events happening in RI. The supportive communities behind Matt and Grace have worked with local vendors to create small fundraising events all summer, leading up to the race. Mention FARA at each location during the specified fundraising times, and a portion of profits will be donated to FARA (some may even offer a discount!). With an array of events (pizza, comedy, ice cream, fitness, burritos) spread over several months, there are options to meet a variety of interests and summer schedules – we hope to see you there!