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‘Miles For Meals’: Bay Area coach finds unique way to raise money for food bank amid pandemic

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Team sports may be on hold during the pandemic, but the Bay Area athletics community is doing its part to stay engaged.

CSU East Bay head basketball coach Bryan Rooney knew he wanted to get involved in the fight against COVID-19. Watching his wife, a nurse, go work the frontlines each day, was all the inspiration he needed to want to get involved.

“She goes to work and helps people, along with thousands of doctors and nurses, first responders, and all those type of things,” Rooney said. “Brooke and Liam, my kids, we were just talking when she went to work one day, you know, how can we help?”

Rooney saw that a friend, Dan Curtaz, was running a mile every hour for 24 hours to raise money for COVID-19 relief. The coach asked if he could join, and Miles for Meals was born.

Anyone can run, and anyone who doesn’t want to run can donate to the cause — with all donations benefiting Alameda County Community Food Bank.

“We just started spreading it, through our website, through social media, word of mouth, and the response has been great,” Rooney said.

So far, 58 runners are participating, with nearly 3,000 dollars raised for the food bank. Rooney hopes this is just the beginning.

“We’re looking forward to hopefully it growing for sure, because one thing I’m trying to tell people is, it’s not just about these 24 hours,” he said. “People, and certainly the food banks, they’re going to need our help for a long time.”

Rooney isn’t sure whether he’ll sleep in between miles, or stay up for the long haul, but he’s hoping hydration and motivation for the cause will get him through.

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