Jay run

On Sunday, Sept. 26, Jay Jacobs, CEO of Martin Pear Jewish Community Center in Scottsdale, will spend 12 hours, albeit with some breaks, on a treadmill. His day-long physical feat is the highlight of the eponymous “See Jay Run” fundraiser for MPJCC’s SMILE Campaign.

The campaign runs the gamut from scholarships and programs to a host of services MPJCC provides, Jacobs explained. “It’s all about providing financial assistance so that no one’s getting turned away by a dollar and cents situation.”

Jacobs climbs aboard the treadmill at 7 a.m. and intends to spend the next 12 hours there. “I’ll mostly be walking,” he said. He will take 15 minute breaks every hour and 45 minutes and plans to have plenty of water on hand.

The fundraising goal is $150,000, which is a substantial amount, but Jacobs said he always likes the challenge of an aggressive number like this. He hopes to raise some funds before the day and already has some commitments on the books.

“The biggest issue is how do we create the goal today so that there are zero issues when we need to provide financial assistance for people, and we can keep supporting certain programs and services,” Jacobs said.

There will also be a treadmill next to Jacobs’ for people to walk or run alongside him at the same time, all for the price of a donation.

Jacobs also wants people to have a good time while contributing. “It’s more than just writing us a check,” he said. “Our whole goal always is how we are different.”

Pamela White, MPJCC’s director of individual giving and campaign, said the unique event is in keeping with who Jacobs is as a leader. “Jay’s tireless leadership has made him a role model for staff within the community, as well as other JCCs around the country,” she said.

Andrea Quen, MPJCC’s chief development officer, also admires Jacobs’ tenacity and “his ability to walk the walk and talk the talk.”

White agreed, and said that all the staff are excited about the event because “we not only support Jay, but we support the work that we do within the community.”

People who wish to support the campaign will have the opportunity to participate in a special sports tournament or a group exercise class on offer that day. The fitness schedule includes events like balance board yoga, cardio dance party, disco cycle, a dodgeball tournament and more. A minimum donation of $20 will allow anyone to enter any of the classes or tournaments. All funds will go towards the $150,000 goal.

Jacobs said the whole staff is dedicated to ensuring everything will be safe in terms of COVID protocols, but thinks that won’t put a damper on the fun. “The point is to come in and do whatever class they want, and afterwards grab a soft drink, grab a beer and listen to music,” he said, pointing out there will be a DJ. Sunday’s lineup of NFL football games will also be broadcast for those who wish to watch. JN

To register, go to mpjcc.org/seejayrun or contact Megan Montgomery, director of special events, at meganm@mpjcc.org or call 480.481.1756.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Andrea Quen, chief development officer, at andreaq@mpjcc.org or 480.481.1753.