Thursday, February 24, 2005

A run at the bottom of the world, for children (L.A. Daily News)

When you're out running this weekend and "feeling a little cold", just think about Larry Meyer, an extreme distance runner running the bi-annual Antarctica Marathon. Below is a story about him in the L.A. Daily News, and you can also read about him here. Note the phone # to donate to the cause.

Good luck, Larry, and stay warm!

- SD

A run at the bottom of the world, for children

For the past 20 years, Larry Meyer has raised thousands of dollars for the Blind Children's Center in Los Angeles. On Saturday, the Glendale man will continue his winning ways when he straps on his trail running shoes for the seventh Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon.

(Larry Meyer practices for the big run)

The 26-mile-long trek on the remote, frozen continent will take him past icebergs, penguins, seals and whales.

"(Running in the Antarctica Marathon) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,' said Meyer, an estate planning attorney. "I'm really using it to contact everybody I know to support me with pledges to the Blind Children's Center. The response has been fantastic.'

This will be the 40th marathon for Meyer, who has raised about $24,000 for the center by running in long-distance races over the past two decades. His fund-raising goal for this run is $8,000.

The Antarctica Marathon represents a unique challenge for the 57-year-old.

"One of the things I decided to do is to try and run a marathon on every continent,' said Meyer, who has done so in North America, Australia, Europe and now Antarctica. "Every two years, they have the Antarctica Marathon, so I figured before I got too old I better try it.'

Meyer began volunteering at the center about 20 years when he was asked to create a fund-raising program for the agency, which provides preschool and therapy for blind and partially blind children ages 6 months to 5 years. Because so much of what people do is learned by sight, children at the center are taught basic skills, such as how to smile, to crawl and to chew.

The center is funded exclusively with private donations and all services are provided free of charge.

To make a pledge for Meyer's run or to donate to the Blind Children's Center, call Laurie Headley at (323) 664-2153.

-- Nicole Sunkes

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