Amanda Rich McMeniman ’99 thinks everything happens for a reason. At UNH, she was on the indoor/outdoor track team, and she’s remained an avid runner, even qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon four times. But last year, she was injured when she went to qualify and didn’t make the cut.
It turns out that not qualifying was a stroke of good fortune for McMeniman, who set out to find a charity to run for and discovered the Ace Bailey Children’s Foundation, an organization named for former Boston Bruin Garnet “Ace” Bailey, who was killed in the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001.
The foundation funds Ace’s Place, a large play space for kids who are undergoing tough treatments at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. McMeniman ran for the foundation’s marathon team in April, and she says it’s the perfect fit.
“I’m from a huge hockey family,” says McMeniman, a third-grade teacher whose husband played hockey in college and now works for the hockey industry. “We’re also huge Bruins fans.” When she learned that the foundation funded renovations to the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital to make it more comfortable for parents of newborns in distress, she could relate even more, as she spent “countless hours” in a NICU when her youngest daughter was born prematurely.
All this is why the Hampstead, N.H., resident jumped at the chance to join the team even though she only had 10 weeks to train and fundraise. “I see this connection lasting,” McMeniman says.
Originally published in UNH Magazine—Spring/Summer 2015 Issue