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Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
Third-grade twins Giana and Christopher Murphy recently ran 100 miles in 100 days to raise funds for Garth Hillier.

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Third-grade siblings run 100 miles in 100 days for man in need

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - Updated: 5:39 PM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Giana and Christopher Murphy, third-grade siblings and students at Canajoharie Elementary School, recently completed a self-imposed challenge wherein they successfully ran 100 miles in 100 days to raise funds for lymphoma-stricken Fulton County Sheriff's Department Captain Garth Hillier.

"He's been in the hospital since Christmas and we wanted to help him," said Giana, with Christopher noting that the interest in helping Hillier initially appealed to the kids "because he's our uncle's friend."

As soon as they heard Hillier was in need, the Murphy twins began hunting for sponsorships, and almost immediately began their combined 200 mile, two month run. Both kids recently completed the task, with Giana reaching the 100 mile mark on her proud mother's birthday.

"She said it was the best birthday present she could get," Giana said.

Though they started at the same time, Giana finished slightly behind Christopher, and with good reason -- her collarbone was broken when she began. Broken bones didn't keep her from raising money for Hillier though, with Giana stating that nothing was going to hold her back. "I just had to take my time and walk, but once I got out of the sling, it was easy to run," she said.

"We started on the treadmill because it was winter time, and then I started running outside with my dad," Christopher explained of his two month progression, noting that he and his father would often run to the mailbox, for instance, as a means of ticking off miles.

The idea for the fundraising mission came to the kids after they watched a movie called "Red Wagon," which Giana explained is about a boy who travelled from New Zealand to Washington DC with the goal of doing good for people in need. "He never gave up. He wanted to collect money and toys and stuff for children who were homeless" she explained.

The kids helped to raise $3,000, which also involved a fundraising campaign wherein a Hillier family member collected money from businesses. $600 of the  donations came from the Canajoharie Central School District and family members. Both kids admitted to being quite surprised by the final tally, with Giana stating, "I thought it would be, like, $900. Not thousands."

"It was awesome," Giana said of the fundraising task, with a big, proud smile, continuing, "I'm glad that we could help people and I want to do it again."

Both kids said they'd like to raise more money for Hillier in the near future.

     

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