After spending the winter training in frigid temperatures, many runners look forward to spring marathons for the friendly weather that usually accompanies these races. But when Family Centers' Communications Director Bill Brucker toed the line at the 25th Annual KeyBank Vermont City Marathon on May 26, he was greeted with 35-degree temperatures, driving rain and wind.

Despite the unfavorable conditions, Brucker completed the marathon's 26.2-mile course and raised $3,600 for Family Centers in the process. For the second consecutive year, Brucker raced in marathons to raise much-needed funds for the organization. In 2012, he collected more than $2,250 in donations before running the New Jersey Marathon. This year's donations will help Family Centers offer local families preschool scholarships.

"Adding a fundraising component to marathon training kept me motivated, especially on those days when I didn't feel like going out on the road," he said. "As a father of two young boys, I've seen firsthand how a preschool experience can set kids up for future academic success. Helping Family Centers offer this opportunity to more families makes finishing a marathon even more satisfying."

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Brucker, from Stamford, completed the marathon in 3:29:33 -- placing 424 out of a field of 2,774 marathon runners and more than 5,000 relay participants. Held in Burlington, Vt., the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon is the state's largest running event. The scenic course takes runners through several Burlington neighborhoods, the Church Street Marketplace and along bike paths overlooking Lake Champlain.

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 1,700 professionals and trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs.

For information, visit www.familycenters.org.