Member blog post: My run for JAWS

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Dawn Garcia Golden GateBy Dawn Garcia, JAWS member and former president

I’m training for a (gulp) marathon: The Napa Marathon on March 2.

And to inspire me as I train — and for extra motivation on the big day — I’m raising money for JAWS.

I started out three years ago doing a few miles at a time — slowly. Running has helped me in so many ways: to get fit, to meet new friends and to achieve goals I never imagined I could. Last year, I did three half-marathons and ran across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco in an all-women’s 10-mile race.

I’m the oldest person in my running group at Stanford University, where I work as managing director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships.

But I’m not the slowest!

I decided that I’d like my next race — my first marathon — to support a nonprofit cause dear to my heart: the Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS).

But how to raise money in a fun and easy way?

A friend had set up a Razoo.com account last year to raise money for a mutual friend’s surgery, so I’d had experience with the site and thought I’d give it a try.

Setting up my own Razoo page was easy. I created an account and named my fundraiser “RUN FOR JAWS!”

I attached a photo, wrote a short blurb and set my fundraising goal at $500.

I sent out emails to some friends and family, and posted a link to my Razoo page on Facebook on Jan. 20.

In 10 days, I had already raised $470 — so I increased the goal to $750.

And then five days after that, I had to increase it again to $1,000 when I’d almost reached the $750 goal.

Less than a week later, I’d reached my $1,000 goal! (I’m still raising money and have surpassed my $1,000 goal.)

I’m thankful for all of the donations, but the most recent donation is my most memorable: My nieces and nephews and their grandparents pooled their money and donated $5 each for a joint gift of $50.

Why am I doing this?

JAWS has played a key role in my life and journalism career, giving me the confidence to aim higher. I want to ensure that women in journalism today — and the next generation of women in journalism — get the crucial support and mentoring that they need to succeed. JAWS is a thrifty nonprofit, and I want to do what I can to help JAWS thrive.

So wish me good luck in the Napa Marathon on March 2, and I’ll be thinking of JAWS and how it empowers women in journalism with each of my (gulp) 55,334 steps to the finish line.