Keith Kasin walks the walk. He puts the rubber to the road. He was born to run. As an extreme distance runner, the executive director of Plymouth Village in Redlands, Calif., has probably heard them all.
But Kasin, who considers a typical 24-mile marathon little more than a training run these days, blows past all the clichés into a running realm that only a few brave souls inhabit.
Now he’s taking his fondness for punishing endurance racing and applying it to an unprecedented bit of fund raising for the Plymouth Village Foundation.
In honor of Plymouth Village’s 50th anniversary this year, Kasin plans to compete in The Relay, a grueling 200-mile race from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, Calif., that normally involves teams of 12 runners passing the baton for three legs each.
The difference – and it’s an important one – is that Kasin will run the race by himself.
The idea first came to him as the Plymouth Village Foundation Task Force began discussing goals for the community’s 50th year. As more residents feel the pinch of the recession, they have shared with Kasin their concerns about outliving their assets. And since the primary goal of the ABHOW Foundation’s community endowments is to provide benevolent support in just such situations, Kasin says Plymouth Village’s fund needs a big boost.
His solution? He will run the 200-mile race as a benefit, with a goal to raise $200,000.
“I started playing with the whole idea and realized that if we actually raised the money it would be the single most successful fund-raising effort the Foundation ever had,” he says.
Since floating the idea among residents in January, Kasin has turned initial puzzlement into enthusiastic support.
“I just started talking about it a little and people said, ‘Man, you’re nuts,’” he says. “And then I got a lot of residents who said, ‘That’s cool, but why would you do that?’ And I started telling them how I got the idea and they said, ‘What can we do? Who can we write a check to?’”
Kasin began running marathons in 2006 as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team-In-Training program, which grooms runners to participate in marathons, half-marathons, triathlons and bike races on the group’s behalf. But eventually he sought out greater challenges.
That’s when Plymouth Village resident Dr. William Clover brought Kasin information on the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile run through Death Valley – in July. Though Kasin hasn’t run Badwater – he refers to it as “an inspiration and future crazy thought” – the realization that marathons were only the beginning of endurance racing inspired him to pursue something more.
Kasin’s 30-mile “training runs” on the treadmill in the Plymouth Village fitness room bring his commitment home to residents. He hopes they will contribute whatever they can. He also notes that this is an excellent time for residents to establish charitable gift annuities, which offer attractive payout rates and tax benefits to donors and a gift to the community after their death.
“But I’m also asking for prayers of support and for people who are willing to take my cell phone number and call me during the race,” he says.
He hopes that support will translate into contributions from individuals and businesses in and around Redlands and beyond.
“It really is a full-on team effort that’s going to make this happen,” he says. “And seeing how it’s coming together brings home to me the community we have here at Plymouth Village and really warms my heart.”
For more information on Keith Kasin’s benefit run, contact him at 909-793-9195 or email@example.com. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to the Plymouth Village Foundation Task Force, 900 Salem Drive, Redlands, CA 92373.
Founded in 1949, ABHOW is widely known for its pioneering leadership in senior housing and health care. The company serves more than 4,700 residents in 33 retirement communities in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
To learn more about ABHOW visit www.abhow.com.