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Providence to Toronto: A Marathon for Community

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The Providence Marathon is Canceled, But Our Race to Support Providence Continues!

Hello! My name is Norman D Baker Gutierrez , a passionate resident of Providence and an aspiring marathon runner. Despite the cancellation of the Providence Marathon, originally scheduled for May 5th, my commitment to our community has never been stronger. I'm launching Running for Providence,"an initiative to channel the spirit of perseverance into tangible support for our city and beyond.

I need your help to support our communities. Donations are going to amazing community-based support groups in Providence, 1 Toronto group, and 1 Opted-In Global group.

Why Your Support Matters
The cancellation of a key event like the Providence Marathon doesn't just affect runners; it impacts the vibrant community and the culture of our beloved city. Yet, it also presents an opportunity—to band together and support those who make Providence the spirited, resilient community we cherish.

As of March 28th, an official announcement was released stating that the marathon has been canceled. I remember getting the message from my colleague, and before I had processed the news, my partner sent me the same thing. I took a beat and a few breaths.

In that moment I whispered to myself, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." Providence cannot make the marathon happen, impacting the dreams of tens of thousands.

However, I channeled the remainder of Reinhold Niebuhr's quote,

"[And] grant me the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I am fully committed to making the most of this challenging situation and urgently need all the support I can gather. This leads me to the question: why am I seeking donations?

My Purpose Statement:
I will be running my first marathon in the North American city of Toronto, Canada, and I need your support to get this Providence citizen [me] there and accomplish my dream of championing a marathon BECAUSE a win for one Providence citizen can turn into a win for all Providence citizens.

My Mission Statement:
To empower and uplift our local Providence community, my goal is to raise $30,000 by May 5th. Of the funds collected, 80% will directly support a carefully selected list of impactful groups and projects within Providence—each chosen for their dedication to fostering positive change and providing essential services. This fundraising initiative is not just about meeting a financial target; it’s about coming together to make a significant, lasting difference in the lives of our fellow citizens. Join me in this mission; your support can transform these goals into realities for our community.

As I prepare to run in Toronto, I invite you to help me maximize this opportunity. Your support enables us to raise not only funds but also awareness for vital Providence lifelines. Moreover, this journey positions me as an international athlete who continues to chase his dreams, undeterred by the closure of our city's marathon. Together, we can showcase the incredible energy and support of the Providence community, making this venture a shining example of what we can achieve united.

Join me in this mission; your support can transform these goals into realities for our community. Let's demonstrate the strength and generosity of Providence on a global stage.
In pursuit of our goals, I am eager to collaborate with local broadcasters, syndicates, and rising social media influencers to amplify our mission. Sharing this journey can magnify our impact, bringing our community's story to a wider audience and inspiring collective action. If you are, or know someone who is, a voice for Providence with the reach to make a difference, let's unite our efforts. Together, we can spotlight the extraordinary spirit of our city and the meaningful change we aim to achieve.

My Vision Statement:
To transform Providence into a beacon of community support and cultural innovation, where vital groups are empowered to sustain and enhance the fabric of our city, and aspiring artists and creators are equipped to pursue their dreams. By directing funds to 10 pivotal groups and projects, we aim to ensure the up-keeping and flourishing of our community and foster an environment where creativity is nurtured, and progress is made possible for all.

​Our Beneficiaries:
To bring our vision to life, we are committed to supporting a diverse array of groups and projects that are crucial to the flourishing of Providence. Each has been carefully selected for their significant impact on our community and their alignment with our mission to nurture creativity and support essential services. Below is the list of our chosen beneficiaries:

1.) I'm dedicating 10% of our GoFundMe proceeds to RIPTA, spotlighting and combating its historic underfunding. This contribution isn't just a donation; it's a call to action for enhanced support of Providence's essential transit lifeline .

2.) Donating 10% to RISCA, we're investing in Providence's heart and soul—its arts. This fuels RISCA’s mission to enrich our community and cultur e, ensuring a thriving, creative Providence.

3.) Contributing 10% to the Awesome Foundation in Providence, a group championing grassroots innovation and creativity, $1,000 at a time. This new chapter, spearheaded by Ben Sisto , promises to unleash a wave of awesome projects, enriching our community with bold ideas and no-strings-attached support.

4.) Allocating 10% to LitArts RI, I support a cornerstone of Rhode Island’s literary community that has personally helped me grow as a community organizer. LitArts RI enriches our state by fostering the written, spoken, and illustrated word through essential services and spaces. This donation aims to extend those opportunities to more aspiring creators, further establishing Rhode Island as a premier literary destination

5.) Allocating 10% of our GoFundMe proceeds, we introduce the 'Local Opt-In Group' initiative—your opportunity to nominate a Providence-based group for funding. This participatory approach empowers our donors to help decide which local group, with a proven track record and a visionary plan for our city's future, will receive support. Selection will be based on their historical contributions, actionable plans for positive change, and potential for future impact.

​6.) We’re allocating 10% of our GoFundMe proceeds to the 'Toronto Opt-In Group,' an opportunity for donors to nominate and support a Toronto organization making significant strides for their community. This initiative aims to extend our collective impact beyond Providence, supporting a group with a proven track record of in-city contributions, a forward-thinking action plan, and a clear vision for a better world.

7.) We're dedicating 10% of our GoFundMe proceeds to the 'Global Opt-In Group,' inviting donors to nominate and support impactful organizations worldwide. Selected based on their historical impact, action plans for the world's future, and foreseeable impact, this initiative empowers donors to drive positive change on a global scale. All submissions and groups are welcome for nomination, ensuring inclusivity and diversity in the selection process.

8.) Dedicating 10% to Empower Us, a publication I launched to harness the power of storytelling in empowering individuals, we're setting the stage for a stronger, united Providence. This initiative is not just about funding; it’s a platform for aspiring writers to share stories of self-development, community resilience, and inspiration, hosted on Medium for broad accessibility.

100% of proceeds for Empower Us will be transformed into grants that will be awarded based on their potential to inspire and drive positive change, with a commitment to showcasing a diverse array of voices. Beyond financial support, 'Empower Us' aims to build a network of storytellers, amplifying their impact through shared experiences and success stories. This initiative is a testament to the belief that every story has the power to motivate, heal, and unite us, making Providence not just a city of writers, but a community of empowered individuals.

9.) Dedicating 10% to Rising Designs, we're empowering Providence's artists and entrepreneurs with essential digital tools. Building on the legacy of Providence Haven and others, Rising Designs offers website development, using funds for licensing and labor on to ensure each project's success. This effort supports the digital showcase of local talent and continues a proven tradition of elevating our creative community to wider recognition.

10.) To complete our mission, 10% of the proceeds will support my journey to run the Toronto marathon. This isn't just a personal goal —it's a pivotal moment for our collective mission, allowing me to represent Providence's spirit of perseverance and community on an international stage. These funds will cover marathon entry, travel, and living expenses, ensuring I can fully commit to this challenge without financial strain. Your support here directly fuels our shared vision, making every mile run a step forward for us all.

Together, We're Running Towards a Brighter Future for Providence
In every step of this journey, your support is more than a donation—it's a testament to our shared belief in the strength and resilience of Providence. As we embark on this mission to transform challenges into opportunities for growth and connection, every contribution, share, and word of encouragement brings us closer to our goal.

Join me in making a difference, not just for today, but for the future of our beloved city. Let's prove that when faced with adversity, Providence doesn't step back; we leap forward. Together, we'll cross the finish line, stronger, united, and with hearts full of hope. Your support is the wind beneath our wings—let's soar to new heights and make every mile count for Providence.

Donate, share, and become part of a movement that embodies the true spirit of our community. Because when Providence runs together, there's no limit to how far we can go.



  • Nick Pagano
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Tom Murphy
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Caterina Roman
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Nicholas Hinckfuss
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Chad Baker
    • $50 
    • 2 mos


Norman Baker Gutierrez
Providence, RI

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