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The Ashland Education Foundation, Inc.’s (AEFI) is pleased to announce that two Ashland residents will run this year’s Boston Marathon to raise funds to support innovation in education for the AEFI. Tricia McSweeney and Sharon Ames will train for their third 26.2 mile run to Boston on Monday, April 21. After being diverted from the finish line last year, with only a 1/2 mile to go, they are more than determined to set foot on the finish line on Boylston Street this year. They have set not only a challenge of crossing the finish line but a goal of raising $4,000 in support of teacher grants for the Ashland Public Schools.

Sharon and Tricia are avid runners, longtime residents of Ashland and strong supporters of the Ashland Public Schools. This year’s frigid weather and snow has added to the challenge of completing their weekly long runs, but each weekend they continue to wake in the wee hours of the morning to begin their training, before starting their weekend activities with their families, which also includes a multitude of sporting events.

Tricia McSweeney lives with her husband Sean and four children, all who attend the Ashland Schools. Tricia is a surgical RN at Tufts Medical Center. Sharon Ames and her husband Bill have three children, two of which graduated from Ashland High and an eighth grade boy. Sharon is a Speech/Language Pathologist in the Ashland Schools. They dedicate their weekend mornings to runs of 15 miles or more and are thankful for the understanding and tolerance their husbands and children give them while they are out training between two to four hours a run.

When asked why she is participating in the Marathon Challenge, Tricia McSweeney stated, “I am running the marathon for the AEFI because I want my children and children in this community to get the best education they can. The AEFI is about creating opportunities by providing grants for teachers who bring innovation to the classroom. By running and raising money for the AEFI I have the opportunity to give back to the community of Ashland. I also want to show my kids that you can set a challenging goal for yourself, work toward that goal and achieve it.”

Sharon Ames is excited to run for the AEFI and added, “The AEFI continues to support the schools by using money raised towards awarding grants to purchase materials that will enrich the classroom. Teachers within our community are excited about this effort. Please join us to help raise money for our great school district here on the Boston Marathon route.”

The AEFI brings business leaders, community leaders, professionals and parents together to increase awareness of, communication with and support for the Ashland Public Schools. Excellence in public education is essential to the economic and social health of the Ashland community. The AEFI supports creative, innovative and challenging programs and needed educational venture capital provided by the surrounding community.

You can sponsor the AEFI Marathon Challenge by making a tax-deductible donation to the AEFI by visiting www.ashlandeducationfoundation.org/marathon or by mailing a contribution to Ashland Education Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 71, Ashland, MA 01721.

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