Running for a Purpose

Running for a Purpose

Verizon Team Champions Running For A Purpose to Support the Fight Against Heart Disease

For the past six years, Rob Burden and Chris Jentile from the Verizon Tax Department in Basking Ridge, N.J., have motivated and inspired others within Verizon through their steadfast work as team captains in the Verizon Team Champions Program.

Their efforts rallying their fellow employees to fundraise for the annual American Heart Association Wall Street Run and Heart Walk resulted in more than $35,000 in donations this year for the American Heart Association and more than $100,000 to date.

Burden and Jentile play a key role in helping connect Verizon employees to the community, inspiring a team, and motivating others to join them in acting as public champions in support of the fight against heart disease.

“I had two cousins who suffered heart attacks before the age of 50 and my grandmother also passed away from heart disease,” said Jentile. “So I have a vested interest in this fight.”

Jentile added that his father lost three brothers to heart disease before age 50 and survived quadruple by-pass surgery. “He just celebrated his 80th birthday and goes to the gym every day and is fitter than me now,” he said.

Burden lost his mother and father to heart disease.

“As a result of the AHA Wall Street Run and Heart Walk, I ran the New York City Marathon in 2010 and 2011 with Chris,” Burden said. Running these two marathons helped Chris and Rob raise more than $6,000 each for the American Heart Association.”

This year was extra special for Burden who ran side by side with his 21-year-old son and his older brother, who flew to New York from California to support Rob.  Burden added that he’s proud of Verizon for its support of volunteerism with the Team Incentive Matching Gifts Program.  This event has been turbo charged with the partnering and collaboration of the Verizon Health and Wellness center. This year 119 Verizon runners and walkers participated in the event.

A member of Team Verizon, Mark Williams, project manager of Network Implementation and a 17-year veteran of Verizon came in 10th overall out of 11,000 participants.  Williams, who ran the 3-mile race in 16:54 and is ranked No. 2 nationally in the Masters 800 meters, will be running in the 2013 USA Track and Field Championships later this year.


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