Super Commuter: Mark Stockamp is “Racing” Money for NeighborImpact
In a time when access to basic necessities is more important than ever, distance runner Mark Stockamp is finding his own way to give back to his community. On Saturday, April 25th , Mark will set out on a solo, 40-mile race across remote trails and back roads, through lava field and forest. At the center of this undertaking is a fundraiser for NeighborImpact, one of Central Oregon’s most established social service organizations.
Since late March, Mark has raised over $12,000 for NeighborImpact’s food bank through donations on Facebook from friends and family, as well as a generous matching donation from an anonymous source.
NeighborImpact’s food bank has experienced 33% higher demand than usual since Oregon’s stay-at-home order went into effect to slow the spread of COVID-19. Considering the food bank’s typical numbers, 25,000 fed each month in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties, as well as in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, 33% is a big boost to an already formidable demand. “Food is a necessity, and NeighborImpact is embedded in this community,” Mark says.
When looking for a recipient for his fundraiser, the choice was easy. Mark got his start raising money for community organizations in 2018 during the New York City Marathon, where he raised funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This helped to develop his strategy. This time, he started on Facebook, spreading the fundraiser to his immediate circle and meeting his goal of a thousand dollars in the first day. From there, Mark has kept pushing the goal forward, which was made especially possible by a donor willing to match up to $5,000. Local news sources like the Central Oregon Daily and KTVZ have featured him as well, furthering his fundraiser’s reach.
When he’s not running ultra-marathons, Mark bike commutes to FootZone in Bend. His commute begins and ends in the Deschutes River Woods neighborhood of Bend, so a 7.3 mile ride into town. He says people are often shocked by the distance, but compared to the time he’d spend driving, looking for parking, and walking, biking ultimately makes more sense for his lifestyle. Besides, for an ultra-marathon runner, what’s 7 miles on wheels compared to 40 on foot?
Mark runs his race on April 25. If you’d like to make a donation to his fundraiser before then, visit the fundraiser page on Facebook.