Local runner Lee Perreira recently completed 16 marathons in 16 days and delivered a $2,000 donation as a result to the Arizona Health Care Foundation.
He streamed the entire 16-day event live on Facebook and on his final day, thousands watched online as he completed his run, according to a press release.
“This whole story starts with Ellen De Generes,” said Mr. Perreira in a prepared statement.
“She’s been a big inspiration to me and my life, and I’ve always wanted to meet her and tell her that. One day, when I was out on a run, this crazy idea popped into my head: why don’t you just run to her?”
Mr. Perreira, who got the idea for his “16 x 16” long-distance run last year, endured injuries and personal tragedy to achieve his goal. This year, he ran again on March 29 and “laced up his sneakers to begin his latest attempt,” the release said.
Out of concern over the coronavirus, he stayed local, running a daily marathon in communities throughout Arizona including Glendale, Gilbert, Sedona and Tucson.
He finished on April 13 and “did it with an extra flair,” although a standard marathon is 26 miles in length, Mr. Perreira ran 50 miles.
“I’m a little off my rocker and wanted to push myself,” he said.
All the money Mr. Perreira raised went to four local charities, including the Arizona Health Care Foundation that provides scholarships for health care workers, senior dental care plus helps elders have experiences “they’d always dreamed of doing but couldn’t due to health problems, lack of funds or unexpected circumstances.”
“With seniors, we don’t always remember that many still have dreams and life goals they long to fulfill. This gift from Lee will go a long way toward changing the lives of nursing home residents and the professionals who care for them,” said Foundation Chair Paul Friedlan in a prepared statement.
“Lee’s commitment to the senior community really rocks --- literally and figuratively! He not only volunteers his time at various senior homes playing music, but he also fundraises and donates the money that will help long term care nurses and seniors benefit immensely.
Lee’s perseverance and determination are a great role model for all of us during these COVID times,” said David Voepel, Arizona Health Care Association CEO in a prepared statement.
The Foundation, affiliated with the Arizona Health Care Association, is the state’s largest professional organization of long-term care providers including nursing homes and assisted living communities.
Visit: azhca.org; and see 16x16inc.org.