1st New York City Marathon
Chris is grateful to be on United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United, raising funds for veterans and those affected by COVID-19 in his community.
In 2020, the New York City Marathon was cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite this, Chris remained committed to fundraising for his community during its time of need, and he also participated in the virtual New York Road Runners’ Run for the Medal last fall. This year, he is ready to continue representing Team Mission United while racing in the 2021 New York City Marathon.
Chris, an operations manager and essential worker at JFK Airport, has seen COVID-19’s effects firsthand permeate through his workplace, including the drastic increase in anxiety within the staff. “Our Airport Operations team is like a family. Some employees have lost loved ones, and many have had to quarantine themselves. Mixed with the drastic cuts seen in the aviation industry, we’re all hurting and are anxious about the future - but we’re continuing to push through together.”
Beyond supporting those affected by the pandemic, Chris is passionate about giving back to veterans. He explains, “It’s a selfless sacrifice; veterans rarely serve for themselves - it’s mostly for their family and community.”
Chris’ respect for veterans runs family-deep. His father joined the U.S. Army Air Cavalry after immigrating to the United States from Lebanon; this transition to a new life in America served as a means to escape political strife and earn an education so he could support his family. As a thank you to his father, Chris explains, “I am excited for the opportunity to give back to my dad and to other veterans, especially on Long Island, to improve themselves and their community.”
He adds, “I'm going to do this for you. I’m excited to do this for you, and I’m going to hold true to that promise.”
Words of motivation from Chris for his fellow Long Islanders:
“Things are going to get better. Take time to go outside and make yourself feel better.”
“Channel your own anxiety and how to deal with that in order to help people going through the same things.”
“Hang in there, hang tough. We will come out of this on the other side together.”