Manhasset resident Kevin Grimm plans to fundraise $340,000 by this time next year for the Semper Fi Fund. Once a month for the next year, he will run around the island of Manhattan, about 34 miles in total, in hopes of attracting corporate sponsors and donations for the charity.
Grimm has already ran the ultra-marathon twice, on Oct. 20 and Nov. 17, and has completed the trek in its entirety. He recently was able to partner with the Semper Fi Fund, calling his team “Circling For Semper Fi Fund” that can be found at www.runsignup.com/circling4semperfifund.
“After I knew I wanted to raise funds for a military charity, I started looking around at the options available and from all the research I did, it seemed that Semper Fi was one of the better options out there, they have been a A-plus charity for nine years running,” Grimm said “They have seven percent overhead and they provide assistance to post 9/11 service members who have been catastrophically wounded, ill and injured.”
Grimm is 26 years old, a Manhasset Secondary School and Georgetown University graduate that currently works in the city for MediaMath as a supply analyst. His goal of $340,000 is lofty, but he believes it’s doable and has been training consistently to make sure he can run each month. He is waking up every morning at around 5 a.m. to get a quick workout in and depending on the day he may workout in the middle of his workday or after he gets off the train. His distance running comes on the weekend when he has more free time and the former Manhasset lacrosse player has not lost a beat athletically, and for the most part, has stayed injury-free.
For Grimm, his biggest challenge is to get people involved with his cause. He wants people to start running with him and if they cannot run the full 34 miles, run at least a portion of it. Grimm has been using social media to get the word out and has received praise and support for his efforts.
Logan Wenzler, a former Marine from 2009-13 and had a tour in Afghanistan, saw Grimm’s LinkedIn post and decided to reach out. Wenzler, based in San Francisco and a runner himself, recently ran a 50-mile race and Grimm’s idea intrigued him. He was able to take what he’s already doing and apply it to Circling For Semper Fi, but in San Francisco instead of New York.
“I just want to help Kevin get more supporters for the cause and more awareness,” Wenzler said. “I have been in the San Francisco Bay Area for about six and a half years so I have some connections out here. I thought the cause was really cool. I thought I could try and help by doing something similar. [Wounded veterans] have a lot going on so if they can have a little support from the Semper Fi Fund and if I can even contribute a little to that–any little bit helps. It sounds cheesy, but they are family and brothers; veterans in general and the Marine Corps are a close-knit community.”
Despite never serving in the military, Grimm has veterans in his family and understands the sacrifices of those that serve. He believes this is the least he can do.
“I wanted to give back to military charities specifically, and also just for the sacrifices that service members have made for us,” Grimm said. “A lot of what we do day-to-day is honestly because of their sacrifices and in terms of the run itself, I figured that it’s large and audacious enough where it’s going to require a lot of effort on my part, but I’m more than happy to make that sacrifice. And it’s a small investment of my time as a means to pay forward.”