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Running For Trees

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Early in January of this year, Linda Lustins, ReForest London’s Board Chair, had a great idea to form a team for the Forest City Road Races to run and raise money for trees.
RFL runners at FCRR
“At Reforest London, we’re always looking for unrestricted dollars,” said Linda Lustins, “the money we need for essential activities, such as our volunteer management program.” In recent years, the Forest City Road Races began offering groups the ability to run in the race as a team and raise money for their chosen cause.

“Last year I saw another charity I support enter a team,” Linda said, “but they’re not relevant to many Londoners and their results were disappointing. This city loves its trees and I knew that ReForest London could do much better. Raising funds through an event like this, gives us money we can spend on items essential for supporting our more visible programs.”
Sandy at FCRRWe started working on this idea right away by registering with RaceRoster, the Forest City Road Races’ digital platform for participation. Linda created a ReForest London Team account and immediately started to raise funds and recruit other team members. We promoted this opportunity to join our team through social media and also encouraged people to pledge a runner on the team.

The idea of an overall matched fund from past RFL Board Members was suggested and we got to work on contacting them to ask if they would be willing to help build our matching fund. Matched funds encourage people to donate and donate more as they know their dollars will have much more impact.Craig & Linda at FCRR
We also put out a call to MTC Partners to form a team of their own to raise money for trees with Linda Lustins offering the added incentive of up to $500 matched for their efforts. This is a unique way for MTC Partners to join in fundraising for a cause they support with employees who might already be running in one of the races. We were thrilled when Libro Credit Union stepped up with Team Libro, formed by Sarah Taylor to take on this fundraising challenge.

“Entering a team is not a flash-in-the-pan effort,” said Lustins of our MTC Partner team. “Over a number of weeks, employees come together for fun, fitness and philanthropy. It contributes to teambuilding and personal growth while demonstrating the depth of an organization’s commitment to its community.” Thank you Libro for taking on this challenge!

Team Libro at FCRRTeam Libro’s captain, Sarah Taylor, who is Project Manager, Information Systems at Libro Credit Union, said of this team effort, “A group of us at Libro have been supporting each other to reach personal running goals, so this jumped out as a great opportunity for us to raise money for a great cause and to participate in the Forest City Road Races together. Personally, I am recovering from a knee injury so being able to complete in the 5k race was a big step for me moving forward. Our group also hosted a pancake Team Libro Pancake Breakfastbreakfast for our colleagues, which helped us surpass our fundraising goal! All around it was a great team effort and a lot of fun.” Team Libro raised a total of $661.80 and with the $500 matched fund from our Chair, their total raised was $1,161.80. Way to go Libro and thanks for your support to plant more trees.

Our past Board Members came through for us too with 14 of them pledging matched funds that grew to a total of $2,000! We cannot thank them enough, not only for their generous pledges but for their continued support of an organization that they believe in and gave so much of their time and passion to. We can see that these people are very much part of the RFL family and we are eternally grateful.

ReForest London’s team did very well and raised $2,776! That was the second highest for a fundraising team and Linda Lustins was also the third highest individual fundraiser overall for the Forest City Road Races. There were also some pledges that came in and were generally directed to ReForest London totalling $215. So when everything is added together, the final total raised was $6,152.80!
Linda Lustins at FCRRA big thanks also goes to Steve Ryall, Race Director for his amazing hard work to make this race an annual success and for having the vison to allow other groups to fundraise through the races. Thanks also to RaceRoster for their comprehensive platform and quick, effective assistance.
“We have a big and beautiful vision for London’s urban forest and need a lot of support to make it come true,” Linda Lustins said of this fundraising campaign. “I was surprised by how many people pledged, and the amount they gave. Social media and the event’s website made it so easy to let others know about fundraising efforts and then pull in the pledges.”

A huge thanks goes to our Board Chair, Linda Lustins for all her hard work and dedication to ReForest London and a green legacy for London. Your passion certainly helped keep the forest in the Forest City Road Races!