Donors, Transplant Recipients and Community Partners Celebrated at the 2011 Donate Life Family Fun Run

On September 24, 2011, more than 1,000 runners and walkers joined together to participate in the third Donate Life Family Fun Run at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. The Donate Life Family Fun Run is a non-competitive 5k run and 1k walk to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation while benefiting The Living Legacy Foundation’s education and outreach efforts on the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. With the support of this year’s participants, the 2011 Donate Life Family Fun Run was the most successful event yet, raising more than $66,000.

Donor family members, transplant recipients, hospital and funeral home partners, LLF staff and supporters of the cause were invited to attend. To add to the fun, participants were encouraged to form teams to run or walk together. It was great to see so many people come out to support donation and celebrate life.

As the event grew in size this year, a few new activities were added to the day as well, including a donor family tent, a community outreach tent, children’s activities, a team photo station and “Tell Us Your Story” booth. The LLF hopes to continue to include these activities at future events, as they were a big hit among participants!

This year’s largest team was Team Despina, who had nearly 100 team members in attendance to participate in memory of Despina Siskos, a beautiful young girl who passed while awaiting a lung transplant.

Our largest sponsor team was The University of Maryland Medical System, who had 64 team members made up of hospital staff from the University of Maryland Medical Center, as well as some donor family members.

The team with the most funds raised was Team SMC, who raised more than $9,500 for the event. Team SMC was formed in honor of Sharon Culotta, who gave the gift of life upon her passing this past summer. Team SMC, boasting more than 50 team members, was also the winner of the Donate Life Family Fun Run Spirit Award. This award was given in memory and honor of a Living Legacy volunteer, Doris Lowenthal, who exuded the same passion for raising awareness about donation as Team SMC has done during the months following the loss of Sharon.

The top five individual fundraisers for the event were:

Cheryl White, donor mom and team member of Dre Nation

Chris Culotta, donor husband and team member of Team SMC

Karen Kontoudis, aunt of Despina Siskos and team member of Team Despina

Sam Tiemann, an 8-year-old liver transplant recipient and team member of Team Sam

Robert Colflesh, donor dad and team member of Running for Our M&M’s

Congratulations and thank you to these participants, and also to everyone who helped make this year’s Fun Run such a huge success. Plans are already underway for the 2011 Donate Life Family Fun Run, to be held in September, so keep your calendars open!

Pictures from this year’s Donate Life Family Fun Run can be viewed and downloaded from:

Race results and additional information about the Run can be found on the race website:


About Lauren

Lauren Muskauski is the communications associate at The Living Legacy Foundation. She heads up many community outreach initiatives and projects, with a focus on middle school, high school and college outreach. She also manages The LLF’s and Donate Life Maryland’s presence on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Lauren’s commitment to donation started early when she registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor at the MVA upon receiving her first drivers’ license, but was then reinforced a few years later when her father passed away while waiting for a liver transplant. Now, she continues to be inspired on a daily basis by the generosity of donors and their families, as well as the gratitude exhibited by every recipient she meets.
This entry was posted in Community Events, Donate Life Maryland Ambassadors, Donor Families, Donor Hospitals, Family Fun Run, LLF Staff, Transplant Hospitals, Transplant Recipients, Volunteers. Bookmark the permalink.

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