Tulsa Marine Runner Sets Marathon Goal

Tulsa native Marine Corps Maj. William Conner knows that with great challenges come great rewards. That’s why he is committed to raise $17,750 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund before the start of the 34th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.
Conner, assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force, says he could have easily raised $1,775 — a dollar amount some fundraisers use to commemorate the year the Marine Corps was founded. In fact, the 36-year-old probably could have written the check himself. But that wouldn’t be much of a challenge, he says, and it wouldn’t adequately express his desire to honor this country’s fallen and injured service members, while still helping a worthy cause.
“Lots of people are hurting in this economy and so are quite a few organizations,” said Conner, who will be one of more than 30,000 runners to toe the line for the 7:50 a.m. EDT start of the marathon.
“Donations are down everywhere this year. I set the bar pretty high to inspire people to give so that organizations like the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund could continue doing all the good things they do for our men and women in uniform.”
It was a little more than a year ago that Conner says he was inspired to set the lofty goal and to work to raise awareness for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Since its inception five years ago, the IMSFF www.semperfifund.org has issued more than 16,000 grants totaling more than $33 million, to aid marines, sailors, other qualifying servicemembers and their families.
“Before then, I didn’t even know about them, but I did a little research and found out they do a lot of good things for Marines who are injured while they are putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Some guys come home injured and their families need help, sometimes it’s making their rent payments, or even getting to and from the hospital to visit their marine. This organization does so much to help Marines and their families, I just felt I could do something help them keep up the good work.”
The 1995 Marine Corps Marathon was Conner’s first, the 2009 edition will be his fourth, and his 12th marathon overall. Thus far, his efforts have raised more than $11,200 — about 63-percent of his goal.

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