As the Boston University community rallies to prepare for seven of its own to run the 2014 Boston Marathon under the name of late marathon bombing victim and graduate student Lu Lingzi, the BU Parents Leadership Council has offered to join in the fundraising efforts.
In the spirit of fundraising, The PLC will match the money raised by the seven BU community members who were chosen to run in Lu Lingzi’s honor, said Jeanne Knox, chair of the PLC.
“I, as Chairman, pledged $5,000 to the matching fund, and I am currently raising additional funds by reaching out to the PLC full membership in order to create a matching gift for whatever the students raise in their own effort,” Knox said.
Chosen among 211 applicants and given slots exempted from the required qualifying time and fundraising minimum, the seven runners will fundraise for the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund, created as a tribute to Lu Lingzi, the Boston University graduate student killed in last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, Knox said.
“The Parents Leadership Council tries in general to support the students,” she said. “The Parents Leadership Council is looking to, with this pledge, support the efforts of the seven runners who have been chosen and also to support this BU community as a whole in this effort to create a scholarship to remember this wonderful student.”
The stories of the runners who applied to represent Lu inspired Knox to spearhead the parent fundraising campaign, said Knox, who was on the Boston University campus when the bombing occurred last year.
“I was very moved by their [the runners’] personal stories,” Knox said. “I was very moved by the whole process of choosing seven people out of that enormous number of applications, and I just personally felt that there were parents feeling the same way, certainly in the PLC. That is why I stepped up to do it and why I think other parents in the council will join me.”
Associate Director of BU’s Parents Program Christy Olson Loring said making this donation is meaningful to the parents of the BU community grieving for the tragedy.
“This project is important to the Parents Leadership Council members as they are parents as well as members of the BU community,” Olson said. “They too have felt a loss, they have grieved and they have supported their own BU students in the face of calamity, following the marathon bombings.”
By contributing to the Lu Lingzi Scholarship Fund, Olson said the PLC aims to show their support for both Lu and the runners in her name.
“The PLC’s goal is to rally around these seven members of the BU community, to support these individuals as they train for the marathon and as they fundraise for the scholarship, both of which are being done in honor of Lu Lingzi,” Olson said.
Knox said she believes this donation will give parents a chance to actively participate in the BU community and support the campus they care about.
“The Parents Leadership Council is a group of parents who meet twice a year in order to discuss the issues around parenting a college-aged student,” she said. “We meet with the administration of BU to discuss all of these issues, and it seems that for the parents this is a way to feel involved. For the BU community, it is a way that parents can step up and support the incredible feeling of community that surrounds it students.”