Runners Put ‘Mind Over Mattress’ to Help Rescue Mission

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After taking a tour of Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley’s new site, Rick Blair was ready to do what he could to help the homeless shelter.

During the visit with Rescue Mission President and CEO John Muckridge III, the two discussed the supplies the shelter would need, including 185 beds. 

An avid runner, Blair has joined with other local runners to raise money by running a mile-and-a-half every hour for 24 hours on March 13 to support the Rescue Mission. So far, the fundraising effort has brought in $33,228.60 for the mission’s Supply Our Shelter campaign.

That’s enough for Rescue Mission to purchase 117 of the new mattresses it needs. The goal is to raise more than $50,000.

“Our little drop in the bucket,” Blair says. “Every little bit helps.”

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Pictured: Among the participants who completed the full 24 laps were Jason Toot, Rick Blair Jr. and Rick Blair Sr., and Matthew Miller.

Seven adults and Matthew Miller, a high schooler from Canfield, ran 36 miles each in the 24 hours, while five adults completed 13.5 miles apiece. Runners from Montreal, Canada and California participated in the March 13 event at their respective locations.

Authur Croom, a football player and wrestler at Austintown Fitch High School, completed 31.5 miles and 21 laps. An anonymous donor sponsored Authur, offering $100 per lap completed, bringing in $2,400 for the project.

The event in the Mahoning Valley took place in a neighborhood in Canfield with the support of the residents, Blair says. Each runner went the 1.5-mile loop around that cul-de-sac. 

Lynn Wyant, chief development officer for the Rescue Mission, said she spent a few hours with the runners on their jaunts.

“Some tried to get in a few short naps between laps,” she says. “It was really a test of endurance. They came up with the saying: ‘Mind over mattress.’ [It’s] so fitting.”

Blair says making people aware of the Rescue Mission in the Mahoning Valley is first and foremost.

“We come out in the community, tell our family and friends that it exists,” he says. “This is what they need.”

Donations are being accepted HERE or by texting “run24” to 330 648 0100. 

Pictured: Dave Wyant encourages Paul Mallin, who was one of the runners who completed the full 24 laps.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.