One Rockville Centre teenager, inspired by his work volunteering with the Red Cross after Hurricane Sandy, decided to raise money for victims by running in the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 18.
Andrew Nyhus, 17, a student at Long Island Lutheran High School, was originally scheduled to go to the Cross Country State Championship on Nov. 10, but when it was cancelled because of the storm, he instead focused his efforts on helping those in need, volunteering with the Red Cross at the Freeport Recreation Center.
“At the Freeport Rec Center, I helped unload trucks filled with supplies, hand out food, move boxes and organize clothes,” Nyhus said. “It was a great experience because I was able to meet the people that I was helping.”
Nyhus’s work with the Red Cross inspired him to dedicate his run at the Philadelphia Marathon, which he had already been signed up for, to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Nyhus created a
YouTube video, titled Run4Sandy Relief, and began contacting acquaintances and businesses to raise money.
As of Nov. 24, Nyhus raised $1,545 and he will not close the site until his goal of $4,000 is reached. The donations go through his personal fundraising page on the Red Cross website, http://American.redcross.org/goto/run4sandy.
Nyhus’s finishing time at the marathon was 4 hours, 9 minutes and 18 seconds, and he came in 47th place in the 16-to-19-age division, and 5,816th overall out of more than 11,000 finishers.
Nyhus said that though his own home was fine and his family was only without power for six days, his great aunt, whose home is in Long Beach, is still not able to live in her house. That and his time volunteering drove home the plight that many others were in.
“I realized after helping in Freeport that while I was okay, many people still need help and will need a lot of long-term help,” Nyhus explained. “I wanted to help more and I figured I could use the Philadelphia Marathon to raise money for the Red Cross Relief Effort.”