Thank you for visiting my 2010 Boston Marathon ® website! I am honored this year to be running and fundraising for The ALLY Foundation’s Team ALLY. The ALLY Foundation was founded in memory of Alexandra Nicole Zapp (Ally). Ally was a beautiful and vibrant 30 year old woman when, on July 18, 2002, she was driving from Boston to Newport after attending a charity event. On her way, Ally stopped in Bridgewater, MA at a rest stop where the unimaginable occurred.
(The below information is taken from The Ally Foundation website.)
Neither Ally nor the night manager could have any way of knowing that a dangerous sexual predator, Paul Leahy, with twenty four convictions including rape and kidnapping was working in their midst; completely unsupervised, untreated, and recently released from prison by the state.
Paul Leahy attacked Alexandra as she opened the women's restroom door. There was little Alexandra could do to fight Leahy, a man twice her weight, but she fought hard, even pleading with him to let her go and claim that he had rescued her from an attacker. It was useless.
Next door in the men's bathroom State Trooper Stephen O'Reilly heard suspicious noises, and upon investigation saw blood on the door to the women's restroom. Trooper O'Reilly drew his gun and opened the restroom door to find Leahy washing his hands in a blood soaked room. Leahy said "I lost it, I just lost it."
Alexandra's death was due to a catastrophic failure of the criminal justice system, the very institution mandated to protect the innocent. Paul Leahy's rights were put before Alexandra's when the state allowed a repeat violent sex offender to roam the streets freely.
The ALLY Foundation will relentlessly pursue an integrated system of cooperation between government, the criminal justice system, and citizens to ensure the safety of society is a priority so that what happened to Alexandra will never, ever happen again.
Over the next five and a half months my goal is to raise $3500 to support The ALLY Foundation’s mission, one that aims to keep all of us safe. One in four women will be a victim of a sex crime in her life, and as the aunt of six nieces, I would like to do everything in my power to make that statistic drop.
On April 19, 2010, I will be running from Hopkinton to Boston in one of the world’s most famous and beloved marathons. I will be running in memory of Ally and in honor of all victims of sexual predators including those whose attackers may never be brought to justice for their crimes.
You can help! Every donation counts, big or small, towards keeping the mission of The ALLY Foundation and the spirit of Ally alive. Your online donation is secure and extremely appreciated.
If you are in Boston on April 19, I hope to see you out on the marathon route. Best of luck to my Team ALLY teammates, and THANK YOU for your help!