Charity Auction Features Poster Signed by Boston Marathon Women Greats

Marathon aficionados will have a chance to compete in an online auction for a one-of-a-kind Boston Marathon No Stopping Monday sign autographed by 12 pioneers of women’s marathoning—including Kathrine Switzer, Joan Benoit Samuelson and other women greats who have run the Boston Marathon. The item will be listed on eBay online auction site and can be found by searching “Signed Women’s Boston Marathon Poster Legal Aid Bureau.” Bidding will open Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. EST and will close Sunday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Please click here for the eBay listing.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit Chicago’s Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services, the second oldest legal aid bureau in the nation. For 125 years, the Legal Aid Bureau, specializing in family, consumer and housing law, has provided equal access to justice for low-income clients.

No Stopping signs are posted along the marathon route and some adjacent streets each year to keep the streets clear for the runners. This one-of-a-kind piece of sports memorabilia includes the signatures of groundbreaking women runners in Boston Marathon history, including:

  • Bobbi Gibb (aka Roberta), the first woman to run unsanctioned in the Boston Marathon and the 1966-68 winner.
  • Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to obtain an official bib number in the 1967 race, only to have a race official attempt tear off her number as she ran the course.
  • Sara Mae Berman, the unofficial winner, 1969-71.
  • Nina Kuscsik, first sanctioned winner in 1972, when the Women’s Open division was added.
  • Jacqueline Hansen, winner in 1973.
  • Michiko (“Miki”) Gorman, winner in 1974 & 1977.
  • Kim Merritt, winner in 1976.
  • Sharon Rahn Hedrick, winner of the Women’s Wheelchair Division when it was first added in 1977.
  • Gayle Barron, winner in 1978.
  • Joan Benoit Samuelson, the all-time great, two-time Boston winner in 1979 and 1983.
  • Lisa Larsen Weidenbach, the last American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 1985.
  • Jean Driscoll, eight-time winner of the Woman’s Wheelchair Division in 1990-96 & 2000, and formerly the record-holder for most Boston wins until Men’s Wheelchair Division winner, Ernst Van Dyk, won his ninth victory last April.

The sign comes in a 14 x 20 poster frame and is accompanied with an autographed, soft-cover copy Switzer’s book Marathon Woman. Additional details regarding the runners and documenting when and where they signed the piece will be provided to the winning bidder at the auction.

“We are so grateful to have this amazing piece of sports history donated to us,” said Kendra Reinshagen, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Bureau. “These courageous women who ran fought for women’s rights and equal access—a fight that many of them continued off the marathon course. In that same spirit, we fight for family rights and equal access to the court system for all regardless of income. It is through the inordinate efforts and earnest commitment of the Legal Aid Bureau staff, volunteers, partnering law firms and supporters that we are able to continue our mission.”

Last year the Legal Aid Bureau aided over 7,000 low-income clients in Cook County, Ill. The staff of 21, along with 143 volunteers, provided more than 6,000 hours of legal assistance. These dedicated professionals granted access to justice for the disabled, students, immigrants, the poor, victims of domestic violence and the elderly.

The online auction marks the beginning of celebratory events highlighting the Legal Aid Bureau’s 125-year storied history. As the second oldest agency of its kind in the nation, it became a model for the legal assistance organizations that exist today. Many well-known figures have been associated with the Legal Aid Bureau throughout its rich history, including one-time board members Jane Addams, Mrs. Marshall Field and John G. Shedd, along with honorary board members Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and Clarence Darrow, to name a few.

For more information on the programs that the auction proceeds will benefit, click here.

About Metropolitan Family Services
Metropolitan Family Services is one of Chicago’s first and largest human services agencies and reaches approximately 45,000 individuals and families in Chicago and the suburbs with programs and services that help families realize their potential and lead healthy, productive lives.

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