By: Jen Russon
A Parkland resident pledging to run 496 miles in a fundraising bid for Feeding South Florida not only completed his mission but raised thousands of dollars beyond his original goal — and the meter is still running.
Throughout December, Jon Amihud of Parkland Village ran a total of 94 hours, encouraging friends, family, and everyone he grew up with around Coral Springs and Parkland to donate to his pet cause: feeding the hungry during an ongoing pandemic.
Since his first day of running began a few weeks ago, Amihud raised $8,300 and counting.
Every dollar donated to Feeding South Florida provides nine meals. Now, thanks to the donations made in his name, 45,000 people will eat.
Amihud said his 2020 fundraiser was so successful he decided to extend it through January.
“There wasn’t a moment this month when I lost sight of the underlying reason for all this – having people cheer me on and donate what they could is what kept me going,” he said.
The 34-year-old father and Chewy.com executive told Parkland Talk that a challenge of this scope would not have been possible without friends and family support.
“There were days when I was so sore, if not for a really good friend joining me in the run, I’m not sure I could have done it,” he said, crediting Matt Friendly of Weston, who joined him on Day 9 and Day 24 of the run.
Amihud said if his friends weren’t quite up to running with him, they showed their support in other ways, like teasing him about his longish hair, which hasn’t been cut since March.
His wife, Amber, said he could wait until the birth of their second daughter this spring for that long overdue barber trip.
“My wife was amazing throughout this experience and was there for our daughter when I was out there, running for countless hours,” said Amihud.
Being absent for long hours during the holiday season was a sacrifice for the Amihuds, but, they say, entirely worth it.
“I love to run. It’s made me very proud to realize you can turn something you love – something that requires a lot of endurance – into something that helps others,” said Amihud.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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