Michigan Woman Honored by Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council for Inspiring Volunteerism
Submitted by Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum
Whether she is lying in a hospital bed or crossing a finish line, 22-year-old Jennifer Bechard doesn't let hydrocephalus stop her from acting on her passion: supporting the Hydrocephalus Association's series of fundraising walks.
Her exemplary commitment earned Bechard the 2010 Cash, Sweat and Tears Award, an honor presented each year by the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council to an inspiring volunteer who goes above and beyond in "thon fundraising."
"You would never know by her attitude and determination that Jennifer has hydrocephalus, a chronic neurological condition consisting of an abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain," HA Regional Program Manager Sarah Oxford wrote in her nomination.
Bechard, a Northville, MI resident, has led three Hyrocephalus WALKs in her home state, leads a support group and voluntarily designs WALK websites for chapters across the country, often from her hospital bed. (Over the years, Bechard has undergone more than 80 brain surgeries.)
"The ranks of 'thon' fundraisers are rich with stories of people who dig deep within themselves to support critical causes," said Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council President David Hessekiel. "Jennifer Bechard's dedication of time, energy and spirit inspires us all."
"Through my hospital stays and surgeries, the walk has been one of the positive factors that kept me motivated," said Bechard. "A cloud of people in white t-shirts crossing the finish line is just one of the images I replay in my head every time I am headed back to surgery. Even in the midst of the most trying times with hydrocephalus, I have a reason to be thankful, because I am helping to end the difficulties and struggles that come with this condition."
Bechard was the guest of honor at the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council's Cash, Sweat & Tears Award Dinner on March 3 in Dallas. In addition to well-deserved accolades, she received a trophy, a $500 contribution toward her 2010 walk fundraising goal, walking apparel and footwear donated by New Balance and a customized shirt depicting her achievements designed by Lunateque.
An honor roll listing all of the nominees for the 2010 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award can be found at www.runwalkride.com.
About the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council: The Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council provides managers of athletic event fundraising programs with practical information, valuable connections and recognition for outstanding achievement via www.runwalkride.com, conferences, workshops and distance learning programs.
The Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum provides managers of athletic event fundraising programs with practical information, valuable connections and recognition for outstanding achievement via www.peertopeerforum.com, conferences, workshops and distance learning programs.
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