Buzzards Bay woman to run Boston Marathon to raise money for Perkins School for the Blind

Donna Simmons, one of 19 runners on the Perkins charity team

On April 18, Buzzards Bay resident Donna Simmons will endure 26.2 miles of sore feet and aching muscles for a good cause. She’ll run the Boston Marathon® to raise money for Perkins School for the Blind.

Simmons is one of 19 runners on the Perkins charity team who will pound the pavement from Hopkinton to Boston to raise over $100,000 for people who are blind or visually impaired. Simmons has personally committed to raising $3,250.

The Perkins team, which includes runners from around the country, is an officially recognized charity for the 115th B.A.A. Boston Marathon. It’s the only charity team in the 2011 race that focuses exclusively on helping people with visual impairments. The donations will fund the Watertown-based school’s on-campus, regional and international programs.

Simmons joined the Perkins team because she has been working with people who are blind for 15 years. Simmons works for Community Systems Inc., a non-profit company that provides services for people with disabilities.

“I enjoy my work and would like to see my fundraising money go to something I am passionate about,” she said. “While I look forward to the physical challenges involved, I’m excited to take on the challenge to raise money and awareness for Perkins and the school’s many programs and services.”

When Simmons started running a few years ago, she ran out of breath after two and a half minutes. When Community Systems Inc. launched a Healthy Lifestyle program, she was asked to coordinate it. Determined to “lead by example,” Simmons joined three running groups. The effort paid off – in 2010 she ran 33 races. “I am totally hooked on running!” she said.

To support Simmons’ marathon run and make a donation to Perkins, visit

Perkins School for the Blind, the nation’s first school for the visually impaired, provides education and services to help build productive, meaningful lives for 145,000 people who are blind or deafblind, including those with additional disabilities, in 65 countries worldwide. Founded in 1829, Perkins pursues this mission on campus, in the community and around the world. Learn more online at

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