Tom Pardini has run in the 8 Tuff Miles race on St. John for the last four years, and on February 28, 2015, he is running on behalf of Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services. While he is not asking you to run with him, he hopes you can support him in spirit.

Many people work each day and still struggle to make ends meet. For 41 years, Good Shepherd Housing has helped families who have been high credit risks to find housing so they can stabilize and move their lives forward. We give our families the tools to create their own success and stable future, including financial literacy education and other supportive services. In return, we expect them to move toward self-sufficiency.

8 Tuff Miles starts at sea level in Cruz Bay on the west end of St. John, climbs uphill to 999 feet above sea level over the first 5 miles, and then continues downhill for 3.38 miles to Coral Bay on the east end of St. John. The February race will attract 1500 runners, 600 “off-islanders” like Tom and 900 “islanders” from St. John and the surrounding US and British Virgin Islands. It’s a Caribbean party at the start and finish lines, with an 8 mile (tuff) run in-between. Finishers receive the coveted lanyard with stylized beer bottle opener, which is proudly worn throughout the island on race weekend by everyone crazy enough to run this race. See www.8TuffMiles.com.

Tom would like you to sponsor him as he runs this year’s race for Good Shepherd Housing. You will be helping people who want to succeed and want to work, but have hit a bump in the road – we all could have been there. You’ll also provide Tom with even more incentive to run his best.

Please consider sponsoring Tom at any one of the following levels that you feel comfortable with:

1) “999 Feet Above Sea Level”: $3.00 per mile for a total of $25.00. Tom will send you a picture taken at the crest showing the Caribbean Sea, the British Virgin Islands, and the Finish Line below in Coral Bay;

2) “The Down Hill Slide”: $6.00 per mile for a total of $50.00. You’ll get a picture of the Finish Line and his Finisher’s Award;

3) “Housing Comes First”: $12.00 per mile for a total of $100.00. You’ll receive both pictures PLUS a bottle top personally opened by Tom with his Finisher’s Award (this is priceless); or

4) “Recuperate and Hydrate”: $25 per mile for a total of $200.00. As a special thanks, you will receive all of the above AND the recipe for the best rum punch St. John has to offer. In the days following the race, Tom will scour St. John in search of the best rum punch as he recuperates and rehydrates in his own special post-race way.

Tom and his wife Cheryl will match all contributions up to $1000.00. Plus, if he finishes in the top 10 in his age group (Males 55-59 who refuse to acknowledge the passage of time), he’ll kick in an additional $500.00

You can make your donation online at www.goodhousing.org, or mail a check to PO Box 15096 Alexandria, VA 220309. Make the check out to Good Shepherd Housing and put “Run, Tom, run!” on the memo line. (Use the same notation in the comment section for online donations).

Tom is already in training, and looks forward to running for Good Shepherd Housing. We appreciate your support for this great cause.