Dear eCALS Parents and Students, Friends, Family, and Community Members,

As many of you know, Ms. Puja Shah and I ran the LA Marathon last year. We had the privilege to train together for nearly 5 months in preparation for our main event. Both Puja and I felt that running the LA Marathon was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences we have encountered to date. It taught us about teamwork and dedication. Both Puja and I overcame injuries along the way, which taught us the power of perseverance and how motivation can help you overcome any obstacle you are faced with. Even as a 27 year-old adult, I learned more about dedication, time management, and mental toughness while training for the marathon than any other event in life so far.

Throughout the spring, many of our students expressed interest in training for and running the marathon with us next year. Inspired by their motivation to take on this challenge at a young age, we’ve created a training team made up of our eCALS scholars for the 2015 LA Marathon. We were hoping to get them involved with Students Run LA (SRLA), which is a program that works with low income, high-risk students to train for and complete the LA Marathon. SRLA provides students with training for the marathon, as well as all the materials they need in order to complete the marathon safely and successfully. They provide quality running shoes, clothes, and nutrition for the students, as well as sponsor the students to complete training races and the LA Marathon.

Unfortunately, due to many unforeseen circumstances, eCALS was unable to form a SRLA team. Despite that major setback, Puja and I are still impassioned to create a similar experience for our 9 students who are committing to transform their lives by running the marathon. This is why we are writing you. We are reaching out to everyone we know to see if we can find any connections to companies or families that would be willing to sponsor or donate items to our team: eCALS Runs LA.

What we need for each student:
Athletic (Running) Shoes
Nutrition (gels, bars, healthy post-run snacks, electrolyte supplements, water, etc.)
Race Entry Fees (5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, Friendship Run, Marathon)
Transportation to/from Races and Other Off-Site Training Runs

We figure this will cost (at minimum) approximately $600 per student. We know that it’s a lot to ask for (many of our students’ families are unable to contribute financially), but you will be transforming the lives of several students in the high-risk community we serve. We have set up a Go Fund Me account, so if you’re able to, we ask for any donations you can provide (no matter how large or small). We also ask that if you have any connections to companies that could donate some of the above supplies for our students or provide discounts to supplies, you forward this email to them.

Puja and I are incredibly grateful to all of you who have read our email and hope that we can provide this amazing opportunity to our students. We are in the process of setting up a blog where you can view updates and photos of all our amazing kids who are training for the marathon. We sincerely hope this will be a transformative experience for all involved and can’t wait to share our progress with you leading up to the 2015 LA Marathon.

Thank you,
Jessica Manning and Puja Shah
PUC eCALS Math Teachers (Go MATH!) and eCALS Runs LA Advisors [email redacted] [email redacted]
PUC eCALS: 2050 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065 School Phone: (323) [phone redacted]
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Puja Shah 
Los Angeles, CA
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