Formerly Incarcerated Men First-Time NYC Marathon

IddinThe Fortune Society announced today it is an Official Charity Partner of the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon.  The race will take place on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

“The Fortune Society is thrilled to partner with the TCS New York City Marathon as an official charity partner,” said JoAnne Page, CEO and President of The Fortune Society. “The TCS New York City Marathon provides a powerful platform for our passionate charity runners to fundraise and raise awareness for life-saving programs and services that help formerly incarcerated men and women rebuild their lives. We are looking forward to supporting our runners throughout their memorable journeys as they train for, and ultimately achieve their goal of completing this race, all while raising critical funds which benefit The Fortune Society’s mission

Among The Fortune Society’s 11-person team, dubbed the “Fortune Flyers,” are first-time marathoners and Fortune clients 65-year-old Thabbit Iddin (pictured), Mr. Iddin lives in West Harlem in The Fortune Society’s residence known as The Castle and 45-year-old Nathaniel Harris (please read update below).  Both men are running to give back to Fortune so it can continue its work providing a lifeline of supportive services to formerly incarcerated people – like them.

 Mr. Iddin said:

“I am 65 years old and living with many stories.  After a tragedy left me alone in the world with no concern for life, I came to The Fortune Society where I have received shelter and so much more.  I’m running for Fortune and for those who have gone on and for those who cannot run. And for those who want to run, I hope to be their inspiration.”

Mr. Harris added:

“The Fortune Society is truly my family.  After 17½ years in prison at a young age, Fortune has helped me grow into a man.  David Rothenberg, Fortune’s founder, has been a father to me, and so many others have helped me overcome obstacles like addiction and the loss of my mom and daughter.  I am standing strong and am thankful to be part of the TCS New York City Marathon which helps The Fortune Society to help others the way it has helped me.”

Both men expect to finish the marathon in approximately five or six hours.

Nearly 300 official charity partners are expected to participate in the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon this year.

For almost 50 years, The Fortune Society has been developing model programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society.  Fortune’s holistic, one-stop resources – counseling, health services, substance abuse treatment, education, housing assistance, advocacy, employment services and community education – assist and support them as they become true contributors to society.

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Led by marathon coach and Fortune Society Board member David Kochman, the “Fortune Flyers” running team comprises board members Stewart Raphael and Alphonzo Elder.  The team also includes long-time friends and supporters of the organization including Clay Miller, Andrew Mockler, Scott Bertal, Charlie Greenberg, Jake Hester and Scott Levenson.   Since its inception in 2012, “The Fortune Flyers” have raised more than $88,000.

“We warmly welcome The Fortune Society as an official charity partner for the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon,” said Michael Rodgers, Vice President of Development and Philanthropy for New York Road Runners. “All of our participants are inspired to run for reasons significant and special to them, and we are especially appreciative of those who make a meaningful commitment to run on behalf of one of our official charity partners. We wish the best to all of these runners as they begin to plan and prepare for an experience of a lifetime at the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon.”

The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon will again air live locally on ABC7 and nationally on ESPN2.

For more information, visit www.fortunesociety.org. 

To learn more, visit www.tcsnycmarathon.com.

Note: Nat Harris may no longer be running due to personal health reasons.

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