United Way “Blizzard Blast” Racers and Donors Raise Over $24K for Local COVID Relief
21 Greater Nashua Nonprofits Benefit
Written by: Kim Witkoskie
Nashua, NH (February 24, 2021) — The United Way of Greater Nashua’s 3rd Annual Blizzard Blast took a different format this year because of COVID-19, and the results were as exceptional as the event. Over 100 Blast runners and 214 donors raised a record $24,711 to support the United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund during the virtual race held January 30 through February 6.
“Greater Nashua nonprofits and those they serve need our support now more than ever,” said Mike Apfelberg, United Way President. “We are so grateful to all the fundraisers, donors, and sponsors who came together to make this year’s event such a great success.”
Event participants bundled up and braved the cold on their own time to complete the 5K, 10K or half-marathon Blizzard Blast course of their choice. Each featured themed challenge stops at Greater Nashua nonprofits. Runners started at the United Way on Broad St. with “20 high knees to get warmed up and to represent the 20-plus community partners we support to strengthen the community safety net.” Several runners completed the half-marathon course and made it to all 21 nonprofits.
“I loved that I was able to see where different nonprofits are located throughout Nashua, such as the Nashua Soup Kitchen, The Youth Council and The Plus Company,” said 5K runner Nicole Roma. “I also loved that all of the money raised went to the United Way’s Covid-19 Relief Fund or back to a specific team’s own non-profit based on what their team raised. It was a fantastic event and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.”
Roma’s enthusiasm for the event’s focus on getting to know Nashua’s nonprofits was echoed by that of other participants. According to United Way Director of Corporate Partnerships Samantha Cassista, 2022’s Blizzard Blast will likely combine elements of this year’s virtual event with the tough winter obstacle race format of prior years. “Everyone came together, from community agencies to volunteers to sponsors, to make the content fun and special,” she said.
“The United Way has done a great job of creating an engaging virtual event, and we’re proud to sponsor it and help raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Wendy Beswick, Vice President of Marketing at Service Credit Union, a naming sponsor of the 2021 Blizzard Blast.
The United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund issues emergency grants, purchases PPE supplies for community nonprofits, and provides educational technology such as laptops and hot spots for at-risk youth.
United Way of Greater Nashua has served the community since 1930. United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. It serves as the backbone nonprofit for the nonprofits of the 11 communities of Greater Nashua. The organization has a 4 star and Platinum rating from GuideStar and Charity Navigator, recognizing its accountability and transparency. More information can be found at www.unitedwaynashua.org.
Pictured above: Runner Nicole Roma poses outside United Way of Greater Nashua.