Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boston (Pa.) for Boston (Mass.) Students Set Up 5k to Raise Funds for Bomb Victims

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boston (Pa.) for Boston (Mass.) Students Set Up 5k to Raise Funds for Bomb Victims

Article excerpt

Like millions of Americans, Matt Casturo and Miranda Steinkopf were horrified by what happened when two men detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

But the philanthropically minded boyfriend and girlfriend, both 18-year-old seniors at Elizabeth Forward High School, wanted to do more than send in what they could to The One Fund Boston, set up to benefit the bombing victims and their families.

"We wanted to help," said Mr. Casturo.

The connection to Boston was both emotional -- "I couldn't help feel for the people who went through that," Ms. Steinkopf said -- and geographic.

The Casturos live in the Boston section of Elizabeth Township, which is also the location of a major stop on the Youghiogheny River Trail, where many a road race has been run. (Ms. Steinkopf also lives in Elizabeth Township.)

"The day after the bombing, [Matt] was still bothered by it and he told me, 'Mom, we've got to do something. Boston for Boston,' " recalled his mother, Tracy Casturo.

After a few weeks of mulling over the idea, the teens decided a 5K road race would be the best way to raise money and honor the victims.

"It just made sense," Ms. Steinkopf said. "And we wanted to be able to get the money to the victims as quick as possible."

The result was that a little more than three weeks ago, the young couple began putting out fliers and posting notices on websites and social media for the "Boston for Boston 5K Run and Walk," with the catch phrase they put on T-shirts: "Runners United to Remember."

They targeted Memorial Day weekend to put it on and hoped they might get 50 or 60 people -- typical of local races on the trail -- and maybe raise $1,000.

"When they first came to me, I wasn't sure about it," said Malena Mazurek, a biology teacher at Elizabeth Forward who is the sponsor for Interact, the school's community service program run with the local Rotary Club. "I was a little nervous with only three weeks to put it together."

But after pulling together 12 sponsors -- including the Casturos' family-run recycling business -- hiring a timing company, printing T- shirts and a banner, buying all the food and drink they thought they'd need, and getting two dozen family and friends to volunteer, the race took off at 9 a. …

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