On Friday, Nov. 21, Melissa "Missy" Aiello was struck by a motor vehicle during her morning run. On Nov. 22, due to the severity of trauma to her brain, she was called to heaven.
Our sweet Missy was the sun in our family's solar system. She meant everything to everyone. By visiting this page, that means you are connected to her light, too. Whether you were blessed to know Missy, or are here to support a friend, family member or co-worker, we thank you for contributing to her legacy, and helping us all to Finish Missy's Run.
So, what does that mean exactly? To Finish Missy's Run? There are two roads...
First, Melissa was President / CEO of an incredible nonprofit organization in Coconut Creek called Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA), teaching young students business and finance skills, how to be consumers, and fostering the next generations of our country's entrepreneuers and game changers.
But she was more than just the CEO...she was the heart, the soul, the visionary, the late nights, the early mornings, the fiery passion, the eternal believer. When she took the helm in 1994, JA served about 16,000 students with classroom and after-school programs at some Broward County schools. Today, because of Melissa's vision, it serves 50,000 students at a 60,000 sq. ft. building called JA World Huizenga Center, which is a national model. It is truly the House that Melissa built.
So every one of your donations will be going to The Melissa Fund at Junior Achievement of South Florida, committed to carrying on her vision, her legacy, and finishing the amazing run she started all those years ago.
Secondly, when talking about what it means to Finish Missy's Run, there is the physical run itself. As many of you know, Missy was a strong runner, something she didn't even take on until her 40s yet excelled at and inspired many. Lots of people have their "running stories" with Missy - through sharing running she taught many of us discipline, accomplishment, and confidence.
After running her first marathon with her daughter Deven, she amazingly qualified for Boston. But, if you know Missy well, that comes as no surprise. There was nothing her spirit and mind couldn't accomplish. She turned 60 on June 1, 2014, yet she could run circles around most 30-year-olds.
Missy was born on a farm outside Pittsburgh, Pa., which is why on the weekend of May 3, a group of her family members (daughter, nieces, nephews, sister-in-law and sisters) will be traveling back to her homestead, a place she held dear to her heart, to run the Pittsburgh Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K in her honor. You can follow their journey at facebook.com/FinishMissysRun.
Running is a way to connect with our dear, sweet Missy. To be with her. To tell her she is not alone. That she wasn't alone on Nov. 21, 2014, and never will be.
Together, with her spirit by our side, stride for stride, we're going to Finish Missy's Run...we're going to do this in Pittsburgh, and every day after for the rest of our lives.
Love. Never. Fails.
DonationsSee top donations
- Wes Grudzien
- Mary Hutchinson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more