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Brent White with his Miles for Miracle Patient Partner Nathaniel Rodman at a Boston Children's Hospital event earlier this year.

Pittsfield Man Running Marathon to Raise Funds for Boston Children's Hospital

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The thing Brent White loves about running in the Berkshires is the sense of community.
"The nice thing about this area is people support each other," he said. "Whether you're winning the race or finishing dead last, it's a very positive environment."
Last year, White found a new way to take that positive energy and put it to work supporting the broader community.
This month, he will share that spirit of community on the sport's biggest stage.
On Patriots Day, White will hit the streets in Hopkinton as part of the Boston Children's Hospital team in the 127th Boston Marathon.
White, a three-sport athlete at Taconic High School in the late '90s, connected with BCH through his training partners for last summer's Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon.
Justin Casey came up with the idea to use the Josh competition as an avenue to raise money for charity, and Thomas Flynn, Joseph Simon and White readily agreed that Boston Children's was a cause they could get behind.
"I think we're all fathers," White said. "We all just want to do more for our kids, and we all know people well served by that organization. At that immediate time, neither of my boys had been patients there, but I recognized the need to help.
"Anyone who has looked at a detailed medical bill knows how expensive even basic care is, let alone the work they do at Boston Children's."
Founded in 1869, Boston Children's has grown to become, "the world's largest pediatric research enterprise, and it is the leading recipient of pediatric research funding from the National Institutes of Health," according to the institution's website. It is the primary teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School.
Last summer, White and his fellow Josh trainees raised $15,500 to donate to the hospital. 
"That opened my eyes to the potential of, through competition, doing fundraising," White said.
The experience inspired White to apply to be part of Boston Children's Boston Marathon team, Miles for Miracles, through which he formed a stronger bond with a former classmate at Vermont's Norwich University, Matt Rodman, whose son Nathaniel was an open-heart surgery patient at BCH.
"In the era of social media, you keep in touch with classmates — some more than others," White said. "I created a Facebook page, and [Matt Rodman] and I both had our eldest sons at around the same time. Through that I reached out to him.
"Seeing everything Nathaniel's gone through, I've always kept him in the back of my mind."
Now, Nathaniel is front of mind as White trains for his "patient partner" with the dual goals of tackling the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street and garnering donations.
"The last six months of fund-raising for the Marathon, I can't tell you how many people said, 'My child was treated there' or 'I was treated there,'" White said. "Just earlier today I was talking to a business associate, and they said, 'Hey, they saved my son's life.' It's very motivating and empowering.
"Seeing what these families go through and having the opportunity to raise funds, I'm privileged to be in a position to help."
From a running standpoint, White has not been able to attend weekly training sessions in eastern Mass with other members of the Miles for Miracles team, but he has been putting in the work.
A couple of weeks ago, he was able to work another charitable run into his training regimen. White ran from his home to the start line for the Carter Strong 5K, competed in the event to help 8-year-old cancer patient Carter LaCasse (clocking a time of 38 minutes, 17 seconds) and ran home to complete his 19 miles for the day.
White credits the Berkshire Running Center with helping him both train and spread the word about his fund-raising efforts, which had generated $11,500 for Boston Children's Hospital as of midday Friday.
That is the kind of community support that keeps White in the sport.
And it is the kind of fellowship he expects to see on April 17.
"I've always enjoyed running and competing in local races here, but, frankly, I never thought I had the talent to run a qualifying time for Boston," he said.
"From what I've been told, in Boston, there is almost more enthusiasm for the charity runners [than the qualifiers]. I haven't gotten my starting assignment yet, but it's generally understood the charity runners are in the last wave. You're not supposed to wear earbuds while running in the Marathon anyway, but I've had so many people tell me, 'Don't bother with them. Soak up the experience. Listen to the crowd. Let the crowd carry you.'
"By the time I get to Newton, I'm sure I'll need every ounce of strength."
To donate to Boston Children's Hospital's Miles for Miracles team in the name of Brent White, visit the hospital's website here.

Tags: boston marathon,   fundraiser,   

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Dalton Expects July Delivery of Ladder Truck

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
DALTON, Mass. — The Fire District is projected to have its new ladder truck delivered in five weeks, the interim Fire Chief Chris Cachat said during the Fire District meeting on Tuesday night. 
As of last week, the truck was in the paint shop, Cachat said. 
The ladder truck has been completely refurbished from the ground up. Since the start of the project Northern Fire Equipment has had people leave, which set them back on a lot of their projects, Cachat said. 
Water Commissioner Michael Kubicki questioned the expected delivery date saying that when he spoke to the owner of Northern Fire Equipment, he informed him that it would be delivered at the end of May and that there was only one other truck ahead of them in line.
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