Cooper Schmitz said he had to get creative with fundraising for the Boston Marathon, so he created a website to let people choose his next haircut.
“I got this haircut like four days before the marathon just because the mullet won, so I was able to raise like 500 bucks which was really cool,” Schmitz, CSOM ’22, said.
Those $500 went toward Schmitz’s $8,000 fundraising goal for Hale Education. Hale is a nonprofit that brings kids from Boston and surrounding areas to a reservation in Westwood, Mass., for outdoor education, Schmitz said.
“I’m from New Hampshire, and I ski and snowboard and surf, and so I think nature is a big part of me … so I feel like it was a good alignment,” he said.
After participating in less community service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schmitz said he wanted to do more now for Boston specifically, but he found asking people for money to be stressful.
“It was something you have to get very comfortable with because you have to … be very eloquent in how you … help them want to contribute to your cause,” he said.
Prior to the marathon, Schmitz said he raised $9,700, but donors kept contributing while he ran, bringing the total to over $10,000.
“My watch gets notifications on it so it’d say like … family friends donated $100 like ‘You got this!’” he said.
Running up Heartbreak Hill and past BC is familiar for Schmitz, he said, but it became an emotional experience during the marathon.
“I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t because I was so tired,” he said.
Schmitz said it felt like time slowed down running past Mile 21 and hugging friends as they cheered him on.
“To an observer looking at it, it’s very brief, but for me the hugs went longer than it was on video,” he said.