Operation Jack Autism Foundation

The Operation Jack Autism Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity (Federal Tax ID # 27-0479034) created in 2009 in honor of Jack Felsenfeld, who was born in 2003 and is severely autistic.

Its mission is to encourage parents, relatives and friends of those struggling with autism to find a positive outlet by leading an active lifestyle that promotes awareness and raises funds for autism-related charities. Founder Sam Felsenfeld launched fundraising and awareness efforts by running 61 full marathons and two ultra marathons in 2010 and now works on a volunteer basis to develop programs to encourage participation nationwide. Through January 2014, the Operation Jack Autism Foundation and Operation Jack Marathon have grossed more than $250,000.

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. The focus for the year will be to continue to grow participation in the Operation Jack Marathon and related events, as well as collaborating with other autism-related charities on running-related fundraising efforts and growing the Race 4 Free program. Race 4 Free participants in the spring raised approximately $6,000 for the Geisinger Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute and the Autism Society of Maine.

Let us help you!

We’re always looking for great causes to support. If you’re looking for a grant or would like us to put on a fun, low-key race as a benefit, email Sam at sam@operationjack.org.