April 28, 2011 // Franchising.com // BOSTON, Mass. – In 2010, Al Coelho didn't know that his mission to run the Boston Marathon would soon become an annual tradition and enormous fundraising event for Children's Hospital Boston, but that's exactly what happened. This past April, with the help of friends, family, fellow ColorTyme franchisees and other supporters around the country, Coelho completed his second race for charity, bringing his combined contribution to $32,361 and completing a total of 52.4 miles in 11 hours.
"It feels great to give back to an organization I truly believe in and support," he said. "I'm thankful that others were inspired to help me over the last two years; together we achieved more than I could have done alone."
Children's Hospital Boston has held a special place in Coelho's heart since the tragic loss of his newborn daughter in 2002. Coelho recalls the support and dedication of the hospital's doctors and staff.
"The doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital Boston are changing lives every day and have provided hope to so many families including my own," he said. "They create a positive experience for patients who are coping with illness, and they form meaningful relationships built on trust, open communication and compassion."
This year, in addition to running in the memory of his daughter, Coelho partnered with Christina Bird, longtime patient at Children's Hospital Boston and the daughter of Pawtucket, R.I. ColorTyme owner, Joe Bird.
"Christina was born with cerebral palsy, blindness and a seizure disorder. She has made dozens of visits to Children's Hospital Boston and will need to make more," Coelho said. "Even though she is bound to a wheelchair, Christina helped push me across the finish line with her courage and perseverance. Partnering together was our way of saying thanks to Children's Hospital Boston."
It's no doubt that Coelho has made quite a difference for the hospital. This year alone, he and Christina raised more than $17,500, and in 2010, Coelho was honored as a top donor. The money will benefit the hospital's patient care, research programs and family services.
ColorTyme, Inc., founded in 1979, is America's oldest franchisor of independently owned-and-operated rent-to-own stores. ColorTyme franchisees operate 189 rent-to-own stores in 32 states, and the company's custom-wheels-and-tires franchise brand, RimTyme, operates 20 stores in 11 states. ColorTyme is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of the largest RTO company in the world, Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII).