The Crim Fitness Foundation has been part of Harry Garrison’s life since 1984 – back when the Crim was only a 10-mile road race – and, at that point, he wasn’t even a distance runner. Thirty-six years later, he’s more involved than ever and advocating for holistic health, education, mindfulness, and more.
In 1984, Harry was introduced to the Crim by his longtime partner, Wanda Merrell. “My first run was on February 4, 1984, and I had never been a distance runner. But I trained for my first Crim that year and got hooked” he said. After that, Harry, Wanda, and many of their close friends continued running and training together. So, in the mid-90s, when the Crim Adult Training Program was started, it only made sense that he would become one of the first group leaders – something he is still doing today despite two hip replacements.
When asked about his favorite Crim memory, he replied, “It isn’t really one memory but a continuous memory of helping people.”
This love of helping others blossomed into much more. In 2006, Harry joined the Crim Board of Directors at the invitation of then-CEO Gerry Myers and also became a member of the Chairman’s Circle – a group of the Crim’s closest donors and friends. In recent years, he’s continued to expand his influence by chairing board committees where he can continue to tell the story of Crim’s support of the community in areas “beyond the race.”
Harry admitted, “I get emotional about the Crim. It’s helped me so much mentally and physically.” He went on to say that he thinks what the Flint-area needs most is a “coming together” where people realize they need to help and support one another – something that Crim is working every day to facilitate. Harry loves to talk about everything the Crim is doing to help children and adults with a variety of programs in Flint Community Education, mindfulness, sports, nutrition, and more.
Garrison summed it up by saying that, as someone who grew up poor, he is honored to give of his resources, not for recognition, but to help others achieve their potential. As Harry put it, “If you get into the Crim as a runner, walker, volunteer, or anything else, you are going to help the community be better and you are also going to be a better, stronger person. You’re going to help our community go upward and not downward.”
We’d like to thank Harry Garrison for all of his support over the years! On this Giving Tuesday, if you are able to support the work the Crim Fitness Foundation is doing on a year-round basis, we would be very appreciative. You can click right here to donate online >> https://bit.ly/3qfRKND