Runner Brings in Funds for CARD

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This challenge involves running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. Goggins is a retired Navy Seal and ultramarathon runner. The challenge is an ultramarathon, with a twist. It is virtual and broken up into chunks.

This helps keep the legs from becoming fatigued the way they do in an ultramarathon, but participants really never get a proper rest or sleep.

Having never done anything like this before did not deter Singh. “I am doing this in part to test myself mentally/physically and see if it is actually something I will be able to complete,” he stated before the event.

Singh started the challenge on Friday March 4 and completed it. While he found the process taxing, it was the lack of sleep and the mental aspect that he found to be the most difficult, especially while running at night. He raised $500 for CARD with his efforts, which is much appreciated by the organization. CARD plans to use these funds to purchase pulse oximeters for patients who need them. A pulse oximeter is a small device placed on the finger which can monitor the level of oxygen in an individual’s blood. This is extremely helpful in assisting those with chronic lung conditions like asbestos related disease to manage their illness properly. “I’m glad I was able to stick through this,” said Singh, “and I’m honestly amazed at the amount of money this raised!” CARD appreciates Singh’s efforts to give back to our community and congratulates him on this grueling achievement.

Submitted by CARD

Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick?

By Karen Morrissette


The Irish people have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, the anniversary of his death, for over a millennium, but who actually was St. Patrick? Although he is the patron saint of Ireland, he was actually born in Roman Britain in the early fifth century. While still in his teens, Maewyn Succat, was taken from his home by Irish raiders to be a slave and for most of his servitude, he lived outdoors herding sheep. In his loneliness, the boy turned to his faith. Several years later he escaped and returned to his home in Britain. Once home, he reportedly felt a calling to the ministry and began a long period of religious training. Nearly fifteen years later, fully ordained as a priest and having taken the name Patrick, he returned to Ireland on a mission to minister to the Christians already there and to convert the rest.

His time in Ireland had served him well for this mission, as Patrick was already familiar with the Irish language and the the way of life on the island. He began his mission of conversion by incorporating pagan rituals and symbols into his message. He used bonfires to celebrate Easter, a practice already used to venerate the Celtic gods. The Celtic cross actually represents the sun, superimposed on the Christian cross. The sun was a symbol for Lugh, who was seen as a wise, all-seeing god in Ireland. In doing so, Patrick identified those same characteristics with his Christian God. Using the three-leaf shamrock, he illustrated the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Patrick was instrumental in the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland during his time there, although some legends, like those of him banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are fantasy. There never were any endemic snake species in Ireland.

Most of what we know about St. Patrick comes from his own memoir. He died in Ireland on March 17, 461 and was never actually canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, probably because he lived during its early years before canonization procedures had actually been established. Nevertheless, the Irish began celebrating his feast day on March 17 in the ninth or tenth century. Since this was during Lent, families usually attended services in the morning and then gathered with family and friends in the afternoon for dancing and feasting, enjoying the rich meats usually prohibited during the season.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in the New World, not in Ireland. It was organized in the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, in what is now Florida, by an Irish vicar in 1601. Irish soldiers enlisted in the British Army held their own parades in Boston and New York on St. Patrick’s Day 1737. Following the potato famine that began in Ireland in 1845, there was a large influx of Irish immigrants into the United States, particularly in the North East and Appalachian regions. Although they were looked down upon  by many fellow Americans, particularly Protestants, most held true to the pride in their heritage. While ham and cabbage were eaten in Ireland, the substitution of corned beef, which we all associate today with St. Patrick’s Day, began in America when these poor immigrants in New York purchased left over corned beef from returning ships as a substitute.

Eventually, Irish patriotism began to flourish. In 1848, New York Irish Aid societies decided to merge their smaller annual celebrations into one large parade, complete with bagpipes and drums. Today the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest in the country. Over three million people come just to watch the five hour extravaganza. Similar smaller parades are held each year in cities across the country. Over time, these parades took on a political importance for Irish-American candidates and those wishing to curry their favor. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have more recently spread across the globe, with organized parades in Singapore, Russia, and Japan.

Interestingly enough, Ireland was a latecomer to the celebrations. Because St. Patrick’s Day was seen as a religious observance, pubs were closed up until the 1970’s. In the 1990’s, the Irish government began to actually promote celebrations as a way to bring in more tourism to the country. It is also rather fascinating that Ireland was represented by the color blue from the time of Henry VIII. Only as the schism between the British and Irish deepened during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 did the rebels start to wear green, believed to come from attributions of Ireland as the Emerald Isle. Now nearly everyone knows to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and watch out for mischievous bearded leprechauns dressed in green suits. Some cities like Chicago and San Antonio even dye their rivers green for the occasion. Whether you plan to celebrate or not, remember that St. Patrick’s Day, at least historically, is about more than just wearing green and drinking beer.