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On 19 April some 25,000 runners will gather at the start line of the Boston Marathon – known as the ‘Holy Grail’ of long-distance running.
One of those participants will be from the travel retail community – The Estée Lauder Companies Travel Retailing Worldwide President Olivier Bottrie.
Olivier is no stranger to the loneliness – and the satisfaction – of middle- and long-distance running. He won the first ‘Miles for Smiles’ 10k race in Dubai in 2008 (pictured above) and more importantly raised a remarkable US$50,000-plus, over a fifth of the amount generated by the 60-strong field, on behalf of cleft charity The Smile Train.
Nearly a year later, on 1 November 2009, he ran the New York marathon (his first), finishing in a highly creditable 3 hours, 37 minutes and 16 seconds. (He’s pictured below with his son Nicolas after the race).
From New York it’s on to New England. And no-one who knows Olivier will be surprised to learn that he’s again running to raise money for a tremendous cause.
This time it’s for The Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, an inspirational facility that creates a ‘home away from home’ for children and adults with disabilities. It’s also a haven that, while welcoming those children, allows parents to take time off from the gruelling emotional and physical demands of such specialised child care.
The Centre provides the sort of service that communities desperately need but that few people have the patience, passion or sheer pluck to do.
Take a look at the Centre’s website (http://www.hopkintonrespite.com); then read the page headed ‘About Michael’ – a loving and poignant tribute to the child in whose name the center was founded.
Olivier has set himself an ambitious fund-raising target of US$15,000. Within days of announcing his campaign he has already raised US$ $4,772.00.
Knowing his determination, there will be no stopping Olivier from getting over the finishing line. But our industry can help him reach another line – the US$15,000 mark. All you have to do is visit www.firstgiving.com/olivierbottrie and pledge a donation of any size. Travel retail’s marathon man – and The Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center – deserves no less.