For Annie Praino, running the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half is more than just a personal achievement; it’s a chance to do good for her two favorite hometowns—the Bronx of her youth, and her adopted community of Newtown, CT, where she and her husband have raised their family since 2002.
Annie is one of four NYC Half participants running for Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation established in memory of Dylan Hockley, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012. Since that horrific day, Annie has been part of a core group of Hockley family friends and Newtown neighbors devoted to “Running for Dylan”—the goal of which is to raise awareness and funds for children with autism so that all children may reach their full potential.
So far, the Dylan’s Wings team has raised $2,500 through the New York Half. In honor of her Bronx roots, Annie’s portion of the funds will go to support the
, a program designed expressly to help Bronx children on the autism spectrum improve their sensory integration and social engagement through baseball. The program allows children, both boys and girls, to play baseball in a safe, judgment-free environment regardless of their functioning level.
For Annie, running with her Newtown neighbors and helping her Bronx hometown is immensely satisfying. “If I can help my friends by running, then I’m running,” she says. “And if by running, I help Bronx kids have a childhood as amazing as mine was, then nothing can stop me.”
To support Annie and her team, visit Dylan’s Wings of Change on Crowdrise.