Who We Are
Brooke Sydnor Curran founded RunningBrooke in May of 2009 as a philanthropic fund under ACT for Alexandria. The goals were to prepare children for kindergarten by funding early childhood education programs, support children already in school by funding literacy, mentoring and life-skills programs and encourage kids to get outside and moving by funding after-school physical activities and renovations to playgrounds. Brooke pledged to raise money by doing something she excelled at – running marathons. The first grant cycle in 2010 awarded $20,000 to fund bilingual, preschool education for at risk children. On February 10th 2016, RunningBrooke awarded $70,000 to twelve non-profits in Alexandria benefiting 1,755 at-risk children. Also in 2016, funding priority was given to non-profits who use exercise and physical activity to boost learning.
Seven Years Later
Our goals have shifted some as we’ve focused our efforts to get Alexandria’s kids more active to spark their learning in school. RunningBrooke works with educators, as well as non-profit and community leaders to influence and inspire physical activity within existing programs. A competitive grant application process requires mid-year reports, site visits, and final evaluations.
Starting in 2013, we coordinated on the renovation and building of neighborhood playgrounds to bring kids and communities out to play. You can read more about our past projects on the Playgrounds pages. In 2016, we are very excited to build the Taney Avenue playground. See additional details and learn how to get involved here. Stay up to date on how you can participate in the design, community outreach and installation by subscribing to our newsletter.
By operating under ACT for Alexandria, RunningBrooke has a 501c3 status and is able to keep administrative costs to a minimum. In 2013, our operating costs equaled 2% of our revenue and RunningBrooke does not pay for any of Brooke’s travel or race expenses. In 2014, an endowment was established to ensure that we continue to make a difference in perpetuity. To date, RunningBrooke has provided support and inspiration to nearly 5,000 kids in order to spark their learning in schools and programs. By year end 2016, through raised and in-kind donations we are on track to have cumulatively raised 1 million dollars since our inception. We raise money from direct donations in the community, through our running events and milestone celebrations and the generous support of our sponsors – dedicated businesses whose leaders recognize the power of philanthropy on positive outcomes. In 2016, we raised over $100,000 during a 24-hour, online fundraising campaign, called Spring2ACTion. To learn more, visit Your Impact.
We are still primarily an all-volunteer organization with a part-time staff of one. Our volunteer coordinator counts on a dedicated group of more than 60 individuals who serve on our board, hand out water at races, compete in running races, cheer on our runners, plan our events, distribute grant funds, and mentor our Charity Partners. Our Board members are active in the community outside of their commitment to RunningBrooke, serving Alexandria in multiple roles.
In October 2016, Brooke ran her 100th marathon, meeting her goal. Since her stated commitment in 2013, she has run a marathon on every continent, in all five, world majors and in every state. In addition to running one marathon a month, Brooke also completed two IRONMAN Triathlon races. To read more about Brooke, visit, Our Team.