Stacey Clark comes to Project Purple via a rather circuitous path. After spending approximately 13 years traveling the world, Stacey arrived essentially back where she started from, in New York. Bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and a tremendous heart, Stacey Clark joins Project Purple as team leader for the New York City Marathon, the Twin Cities Marathon, The Des Moines Marathon and the Pioneer Program.
Born and raised on Long Island, she attended the State University of New York at Binghamton. Stacey eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Emergency planning. Motivated to make the world a better place, she went on to be a caseworker for organizations in California before moving back to New York. She has worked with homeless HIV-positive populations on the West coast and low-income families on the East coast.
Stacey wanted to experience life outside of the United States. After leaving her caseworker position, she decided to travel for a year. When she returned to the United States, she knew that she wanted to return to work in the nonprofit sector. Stacey, who has ulcerative colitis, saw an advertisement for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge. She applied and became a manager with the organization. She worked for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation for six years, eventually managing teams in 26 states.
Stacey has run and even fundraised for Team in Training at a race. However, in time, she discovered her true passion is yoga. As she got deeper into her yoga practice, she learned more about herself and decided that, once again, it was time for a change. Stacey moved to Nicaragua and opened a travel and yoga business called Alma Retreats (http://www.myalmaretreats.com/#!retreats/b4yxc). She lived in Nicaragua for several years, spending her spare time raising money for a mobile library which serves rural populations who would not otherwise have access to books.
While traveling, Stacey wrote a book about her experiences, called “Sweet Like Life: A Jewish Girl’s Journey to the African Tea Set.” It was during this time, after spending more than a decade abroad, that Stacey realized she wanted to return home. She returned to New York City, where she went to work for Staci Brown, whom she had met during their shared time with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She now splits her time between her seasonal retreat business and her work for Project Purple. Stacey brings a decade of experience in the world of endurance fundraising to the table. She is helping Project Purple with team management and will help the runners meet their fundraising goals.
Stacey recently spent the weekend with the Project Purple team in Lincoln, Nebraska. “It was very exciting to be a part of the Lincoln team,” she explains. She enjoyed meeting the runners face-to-face and learning their stories. Stacey is energized by her connection to Project Purple. She loves the feeling of community that Project Purple fosters. She says, “There is a sense of family. That is what I have learned through emailing and speaking with the runners. Most people have a connection to pancreatic cancer and are really motivated to do something about the disease.”Stacey wants the Project Purple runners to know that she is here to help them set and accomplish their goals. “I like taking the idea of possibility and making it a reality. It feels good to be a part of Project Purple. I am here to really help the runners. If they feel overwhelmed, they can reach out to me.”