2014 Publix Georgia Half Marathon & Luckie 5k

How Did I Get Here?

I never ran a race before I met Mark- a race of ANY distance. Mark taught me about running and through his encouragement we ran many Peachtree Road Races together including one when I was 6 months pregnant with Annie! I will always remember that one! So it is astonishing to me that on March 23rd I will be running my 3rd Half Marathon and inviting others to join me on Team Jardina to support the Mark A Jardina Foundation, Inc.

Mark A Jardina Foundation began in 2012 when I was in a dark place and facing the fear of living life alone with 2 children, ages 6 and 8 at the time. As I sought my way out of this place I reconnected with parts of myself that I had forgotten about. I moved forward with the determination to not be identified by what living through the experience of Mark’s sudden death did to me but what it has enabled me to do. And that is being more sensitive and open to the pain of others and sharing with them in such a way that helps both of us. I want to give people, especially children, the opportunity to be the best they can be and become a model for active healthy living.

Our Mission

The mission of MAJF is to encourage active, healthy living with a focus on children. We strive to give the greatest encouragement and enable healthy active living through example, and aim to serve Atlanta and the statewide community with much needed resources that promote this goal.

Our fundraising efforts will also encourage active healthy living in others including a yearly run and golf tournament. We continue to grow and make a direct positive impact one child at a time. In 2013 the number of Team Jardina runners doubled, and the number of children we inspired and encouraged is countless. Our first campaign was providing sports balls to organizations and groups in need. The use of a ball requires active movement whether through kicking, catching, shooting, dribbling, throwing or bouncing and gets kids active immediately– What child doesn’t love a ball!

Our Accomplishments

Thus far, we have provided…

3000 soccer balls, basketballs, youth footballs and golf balls to numerous groups that support underprivileged children.
Athletic shoes, basketball goals, kickboxing equipment, flag football sets and ultimate frisbees.
Fresh produce for Agape Community Center to support their Weekend Backpack program and fruit for a 5K race to combat childhood obesity.
Uniforms, shoes, socks, water bottles and athletic bags for 2 teams within City of Refuge to give these kids who come from desperate and often neglected homes the chance to participate in and enjoy a recreational sport.

Our Hopes and Dreams

It is our hope to see all children smile, however briefly it may be, and participate in the world they were born into. We hope to engage children in society regardless of their circumstances which are no fault of their own. If we choose to continue to turn them away – we leave the true fault with ourselves. This is why I am asking for your help – let us work together to make sure that we reach out to children in need and change the lives of those who benefit from our partnership. Every time they kick a soccer ball, throw a football or cheer for their teammate it is our voice with them. Every time they score it is us achieving a goal and them gaining points towards the positive.

Join Team Jardina!

I would like to invite all of you to join myself, Annie and Luke and be a part of Team Jardina. Any donation of any kind is appreciated and you do not have to run to be a part of our Team. Annie and Luke will be running the 5K and would love to have more friends join them, and adults also. This year our motto is “KEEP ON RUNNING- Changing Lives One Stride at a Time”. Your support is personally meaningful to me. Annie and Luke and I would love for you to join us for a Pre-Race Thank You dinner at our house on March 22.

To donate, click here. To register for the race, click here. MANY THANKS!

Joanna Jardina