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'Run for One' marathon Saturday to benefit Matt Blackwell Foundation

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By The Staff

Mark Blackwell is bringing his “Run for One” to Lancaster County with a special theme.The marathon, a 51-mile run, is set for Saturday.Mark Blackwell, the uncle of the late Matt Blackwell, is an avid marathoner.The “Run for One,” in its fourth year, has raised $12,000 for the youth of Lancaster County.Matt Blackwell died in an auto accident in May of 2001.“Matt was an exceptional young man, active in his community and church, an excellent athlete in many sports and a team player whose sportsmanship and determination encouraged those on his teams to succeed,” Mark Blackwell said.During his life, Blackwell played baseball at Lancaster High School, church basketball and junior golf.During a visit to the Blackwell’s home last spring, Mark Blackwell visited Matt’s room and counted 51 items he earned over the course of playing youth sports in Lancaster. Mark Blackwell dedicated his “Run for One,” to the 51 items in Matt’s room.Matt Blackwell also wore No. 1 when he was a catcher on the LHS junior varsity baseball team.“Matt had achieved so much at such a young age, and seeing this display, I became inspired to do even more than I had done in years gone by,” Mark Blackwell said. “It still amazes me how Matt continues to inspire those that knew him and those that now know him through his foundation.”In the past, the run had included a 26-mile marathon.Mark Blackwell’s “Run for One” marathon, which will begin at Matt Blackwell’s home on Snow Drive in Lancaster, will include runners from the Lancaster High School cross country team as well as the University of South Carolina at Lancaster baseball team, a first-year squad. Lancers’ athletic director Rick Waters is also slated to participate.The marathon will go into different areas, such as surrounding communities where the Blackwell Foundation has made an impact, like Andrew Jackson and Buford. The run concludes at the LHS baseball field.The Matt Blackwell Foundation, in seven years, has helped 28 high school students go the college. The MBF also has helped the Dream Team Foundation for special needs children and Christian Services for young people of financially challenged families.The Foundation also supports youth sports programs to help participating boys and girls of all ages to improve their physical well being as well as learn the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.“We realize this event is another example of the true love and support our family and the Matt Blackwell continues to receive,” said Larry Blackwell. “What we’ve been able to accomplish and do for the youth in our community would not be possible with the dedication of so many, like Mark.”Mark Blackwell’s goal with the marathon is to raise $10,000 for the Foundation.Donations are tax deductible and will be used for the work of the foundation. Checks should be made payable to the Matt Blackwell Foundation.The Matt Blackwell Foundation is a non-profit organization, serving the youth in Lancaster County by supporting and establishing programs and projects that promote their physical and mental well-being.