Boss runs more than a marathon in staffer’s honor

Boss runs more than a marathon in staffer’s honor

Mary St. Germain

Mary St. Germain was a woman who went the extra mile for everyone she knew – coworkers, family, community members. When SEFCU’s Director of Facility Operations passed away of a sudden heart attack in August 2021, in her early 60s, her coworkers were stunned.

“Mary was amazing,” said Chris Duwe, Senior Vice President of Risk Management at SEFCU, and St. Germain’s supervisor. “She was selfless and always put others first. She joked about her retirement calendar, and how she counted down the days.  She was really robbed of that. It’s hard to accept that she’s gone.”

Now, Duwe is planning to go a few extra miles in honor of St. Germain. Literally.

On Sunday, June 5, beginning around 2:30 a.m. a.m. and concluding with the 5K run at the Capital Region Heart Walk and Run at the Harriman State Office Campus at 8 a.m., Duwe will run 50 kilometers. He will then join the walk portion of the Heart Walk, which will begin at about 10:30 a.m.

“I’ve been a team captain of the Heart Walk in the past, and SEFCU is a proud supporter of the American Heart Association,” Duwe said. “This year, I said I wanted our participation to be bigger and better, and to make an even bigger financial impact in Mary’s memory. I’m a runner, and I asked if there was some way to use that to inspire additional giving.”

Duwe reached out to the vendors he works with, asking them to sponsor one mile of what he originally thought would be a self-planned marathon. In return, he told them, he’d represent their company name on a special T-shirt made for his run.

Sponsorships quickly surpassed the 26.2 miles of a marathon, and now he will run 50K on Sunday morning. Likewise, his Heart Walk team, Miles for Mary, quickly surpassed its fundraising goal.

“I set a goal of $7500 originally,” Duwe said. “The rest of the team said we should set it at $10,000, and we thought we had a realistic shot at raising $15,00.”

As of today, Miles for Mary has raised $30,185.00The Capital Region Heart Walk and Run accepts donations through June 30.

“When we really began pushing our ‘Capital Region Glows Red’ initiative, inviting local businesses and landmarks to illuminate their buildings red in February to show their support for women’s heart health, SEFCU said yes right away. And Mary offered to answer any questions for other companies about how to do that,” said Jennifer Corcoran Conway, partner at Tully Rinckey and chair of the Capital Region Board of Directors of the American Heart Association. “We are honored that Chris is supporting the American Heart Association in such an amazing way. What a tribute to their coworker.”

“Mary had a deep sense of gratitude for what she had,” Duwe said. “She learned facilities from the ground up, and was proud to be a senior manager. She was also very committed to her family. She had so much to look forward to. It’s hard to understand why this happened. I’m so grateful to be able to do this.”

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