What We’ve Done
Through 2018, Operation Jack has raised approximately $160,000.
In 2009-10, the primary objective of the foundation was to manage the fundraising and expenses of Sam’s 61 marathons in 2010 and the inaugural Operation Jack Marathon. Gross revenues exceeded $90,000 and expenses (including the marathon) were less than $30,000. Most of the surplus was donated to Train 4 Autism. Other beneficiaries included the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Center and the Hearts and Smiles Foundation.
In 2011, the foundation supported various causes through multiple events. The primary event was the 2nd Annual Operation Jack Marathon (with satellite races and runs). The foundation also put on the Richard Leary 6-Hour Challenge. Aside from Train 4 Autism, beneficiaries of the foundation’s efforts in 2011 included ACT Today for Military Families, the Alpine Foundation, the American Institute for Cancer Research and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Revenues for the year approached $45,000 and expenses were less than $15,000.
In 2012, the 3rd Annual Operation Jack Marathon and Satellite Runs had more than 550 registrants, grossing more than $45,000. The primary beneficiary was Train 4 Autism, but the foundation supported Running For The Wells in San Francisco to benefit World Harvest Mission and made grants to various causes throughout the year, including Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Autism Society — The Heartland.
In 2013, the focus continued on the success Operation Jack Marathon and Satellite Runs and associated satellite events, as well as re-launching the Race 4 Free program. In the spring, Talk About Curing Autism received a grant. The 4th Annual Operation Jack Marathon and Satellite Runs, the 2nd Annual Operation Jack KC Marathon/Half Marathon in the Snow and the 4th Annual Operation Jack Northwest Run combined to gross more than $50,000. Autism Society — The Heartland and Best Buddies International benefitted from the net revenues immediately, while some net proceeds were carried over into 2014 to make grants.
2014 started with CJ’s Resolution Challenge, a race that benefitted the Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute and grossed approximately $12,500. The Operation Jack Autism Foundation also made a grant to Talk About Curing Autism. Race 4 Free participants in the spring raised approximately $6,000 for the Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute and the Autism Society of Maine. In the fall, an Operation Jack team of 10 runners at the Mount Desert Island Marathon raised approximately $4,500 for the Autism Society of Maine and Spring Pond Farms. The Operation Jack Marathon’s participation increased, the 3rd Annual Operation Jack KC Run/Walk in the Snow doubled in participation size, the 5th Annual Operation Jack Northwest Run was a success and the inaugural Operation Jack Las Vegas Elimination Challenge was well received, raising money for the Grant A Gift Foundation.
The 2nd Annual CJ’s Resolution Challenge, which again benefitted Geisenger ADMI, had double the participation of 2014’s inaugural race. The foundation is continuing to help TACA deliver webinars to its extensive nationwide base, and assisting with TACA’s Stay Fit program. Focus for the year will be on continuing to improve the races in Los Angeles, Kansas City and Las Vegas, adding 1 to 3 Elimination Challenge races, launching a seasonsal satellite run series, increasing the size of the MDI team and creating a new Operation Jack team for a to-be-determined marathon.
Sam took a step back in 2016 after spreading himself too thin in 2015 and focused primarily on the Operation Jack Marathon in Los Angeles. The race was successful in its 7th year.
The 8th annual Operation Jack Marathon continued as a day-after-Christmas tradition in Los Angeles. Talk About Curing Autism was the primary beneficiary. The foundation also fielded a team in the Mount Desert Island Marathon, raising money for MDI Unified Basketball, along with a team in the Philadelphia Marathon, raising money for the Pennsylvania chapter of Talk About Curing Autism. In the spring, Sam used his reach with Operation Jack to raise money for the Michael Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Mass.
Sam took a one-year hiatus from the Operation Jack Marathon to be able to spend a quiet holiday season at home with his family. His oldest son Benjamin, who had just finished the second grade when he launched the foundation, was a senior in high school and Sam wanted one calm December at home while his family of five was still intact. However, he again raised money for the Michael Lisnow Respite Center and decided late in the year to resume the Operation Jack Marathon in 2019.
Sam resumed the Operation Jack Marathon with full blessing from his family. With a heavy emphasis on social media activity, participation at the 2019 race was on par with previous years.
The 2020 Operation Jack Marathon was canceled due to the pandemic, but a decision was made to move the race from its traditional December 26 date to the first Saturday in January. The 10th annual Operation Jack Marathon is tentatively scheduled for January 8, 2022.