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Local family hosts fundraiser to benefit veteran running for Red Cross





Francine Askew has crossed the finish line - the first one, that is. As part of running the Boston Marathon this upcoming April, Askew is also tasked with raising at least $7,000 to benefit the American Red Cross, an official charity partner of the Boston Athletic Association for the Boston Marathon. During a special benefit co-hosted by the Mitchell family of Lynnfield last Thursday, March 6, Askew raised $6,260.

The event was also co-hosted by Spalenza (187 Lake St.), the Peabody spa where Askew currently works as an esthetician. Guests were treated to live entertainment provided by comedian Tony V and Chinese cuisine catered by Kowloon Restaurant as well as the opportunity to bid on a variety of coveted items during both live and silent auctions, such as tickets to all major Boston sports teams, tickets to Kiss 108’s summer concert, gift certificates to local businesses, and more.

Askew, a Wisconsin native now residing in Massachusetts is training for her second Boston Marathon. Askew, who also served her country in the US Marine Corps was supported that evening by fellow Marines Sgt. Brian Ponce and Gunnery Sgt. Travis McGlew.

For Askew, the decision to raise money for the Red Cross in particular is a personal one. According to the Marines, the Red Cross is able to provide lines of communication between deployed Marines and their loved ones where traditional methods of communication are often fraught by inconsistencies. Thanks to this vital service, Askew decided that she wanted to “give back” in some way, and found that the Marathon was the way to do it.

As a result, she began running three years ago and hasn’t stopped since. She often completes multiple eight-mile runs per week, especially in training for the 26 mile Marathon. “Running […] was such a profound experience,” Askew said. “I’m glad I can double down for the Red Cross and combine my passions by doing so.”

Anyone interested in donating to Askew’s cause can do so by visiting:

By Melanie Higgins

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