AKTIV Against Cancer, the organization co-founded by legendary runner Grete Waitz, today announced that The Rudin Family will be the recipient of the third annual AKTIV Against Cancer Award, which will be presented at a ceremony during the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon week on November 1st at the historic New York Athletic Club. The luncheon will be emceed by New York media personality Tina Cervasio and will be presented by Technogym, the leading producer of design and technology-driven fitness equipment and solutions, and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation. Mary Wittenberg (2015) and Meb Keflezighi (2016) were the previous honorees.
“The New York City Marathon, and for that matter the vibrant running community in New York, would not be where they are today without the tireless support of The Rudin family, ” AKTIV Against Cancer co-founder and Executive Director Helle Aanesen said. “We are honored to be able to have them accept the award this year not just on behalf of our organization but on behalf of the millions who have enjoyed all aspects of the race for the last 40 years.”
“It is a great honor for our family to receive this award in memory of Grete,” said Eric Rudin. “She was an outstanding champion who exemplified grace, dignity and class in everything she did. We are proud to accept the award and thrilled to support all that AKTIV Against Cancer is doing.”
“Like AKTIV Against Cancer and the NYC Marathon, Technogym also has a long history of supporting causes that bring physical activity and wellness to the forefront of society, and we are proud to be part of the recognition of The Rudin Family’s extraordinary dedication and work,” said Marco Zambianchi, Technogym President North America.
In 1976, Lewis and Jack Rudin honored their late father, Samuel Rudin – an avid long distance runner and a member of the Pastime Athletic Club in the Bronx – by becoming a sponsor of the New York City Marathon, one of the most unique sponsorships in sports. For 40 years, the Rudin family has presented the winning athletes of the race with the Samuel Rudin Trophy. The Rudin Family has long been one of New York’s greatest philanthropic patrons, giving back to the community as they continue to be one of the most influential families in commercial real estate for the past century.
Additionally, Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald will be receiving a special award for her success as both an elite athlete and in dealing with and defeating cancer. Grunewald, an All-American at the University of Minnesota, is a champion in both track and field and in life. However her biggest races have been run in defeating cancer, not once, but twice in 2009 and 2016. In 2014, nearly five years after her initial diagnosis, Grunewald claimed her first national championship with a 3000m title at the USA Indoor Championships. The win granted Grunewald a spot on Team USA for the first time in her career.
Supported by corporate sponsors such as adidas, Technogym, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, and Experience Life Magazine, the award was created to honor the legacy of nine-time New York City Marathon Champion and Norwegian running superstar Grete Waitz. AKTIV Against Cancer was founded by Waitz and current Executive Director Helle Aanesen in Norway in 2007. After donating more than $15M and helping to create sixteen physical activity centers in cancer treatment facilities throughout Norway, AKTIV Against Cancer established its official presence in the United States in 2014 and is now supporting groundbreaking work in exercise oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. AKTIV Against Cancer has committed to funding $3.3 million towards the research of Dr. Lee Jones at Memorial Sloan Kettering.