SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 20, 2013

Run for Salem family set for Monday

By Bethany Bray
STAFF WRITER

---- — The North Shore running community will come together Monday night to support one of its own in the best way it knows how — by going for a run.

Runners will gather at the New England Running Company in Beverly for a three-mile run to honor the Woolfenden family of Salem.

Stephen Woolfenden, 38, and his young son, Leo, were injured in the explosions at the Boston Marathon while watching for Amber Woolfenden, Stephen’s wife and the boy’s mother, to cross the finish line.

Amber is a member of the Wicked Running Club in Salem and part of the North Shore’s “tight-knit” running community, said Wes Lassen, general manager at the New England Running Club.

The three-mile jaunt — 11/2 miles north on Route 1A to Wenham, and then back to Beverly — is an informal “fun run” to gather and show support for the Woolfendens, he said.

Runners will meet at the New England Running Company, 43 Enon St., in the Commodore Plaza on Route 1A in North Beverly, at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

For those who want to make donations, they will be collected for a fund set up for the family at the Salem Five bank. The run is open to anyone, runners both slow and fast, said Lassen, and a donation is not required.

Organizing the run was “a natural thing,” said Lassen.

“It’s a tight-knit (running) community, and this is an easy way to give back,” he said.

The Woolfendens have not spoken publicly since the marathon, but released a statement this week thanking the first responders, medical personnel and others who have provided them support and care since Monday.

“The medical community and hospital staffs in this city are beyond compare, and we are grateful for the excellent care provided to our loved ones,” they said. “Our thoughts remain with the fellow victims and their families during this difficult time.”

Leo Woolfenden has been released from Boston Children’s Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Stephen Woolfenden was being treated at Boston Medical Center, which declined to release information on his condition yesterday. On Wednesday, his condition was upgraded from “critical” to “serious.”

The Salem Five bank has established funds for both the Woolfendens and the Richard family of Dorchester. Bill Richard, a 1988 graduate of Salem High, is the father of 8-year-old Martin Richard, one of three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Donations can be sent to the Salem Five (Attn. Richard Family Fund or Woolfenden Family Fund), 201 Essex St., Salem, MA 01970.

For more information on Monday’s run, contact the New England Running Company at 978-922-8870.

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

STATEMENT FROM THE WOOLFENDEN FAMILY

“The Woolfenden family wants to take this opportunity to thank the Boston Police and Fire, emergency response personnel, BAA staff and volunteers, and all of the runners and spectators who selflessly rushed in to help as the events of Monday’s tragedy unfolded.

“We also want to thank the city of Salem, the North Shore area, the entirety of Boston, Salem Five Bank, the Wicked Running Club, the entire international running community, and the thousands upon thousands of friends and strangers who have offered so much support and hope in this difficult time.

“The medical community and hospital staffs in this city are beyond compare and we are grateful for the excellent care provided to our loved ones.

“Our thoughts remain with the fellow victims and their families during this difficult time.

“At this time, the family would ask that the media respect our wishes for privacy as we focus on healing together and moving forward from these events.”