HE LEFT Griffith two decades ago, but will be thinking of home when he runs through the five boroughs of New York City next month.
John Woodbridge will compete in the 2012 New York Marathon in November to raise money for Kalinda School a cause close to his heart.
Having entered the lottery for a place in the 42-kilometre marathon for three years without any luck, Mr Woodbridge was successful this year.
However, the news he had won a place came just days before he returned to New York from Griffith following the death of his father.
"I nominated Kalinda because of the amount of time my dad gave to support the school," Mr Woodbridge said.
"It was one of his favourite causes, ever since my brother went there some 20-plus years ago and my mum still works there,"
With a target of $5000, Mr Woodbridge is half way there. He has set up a website, www.run4kalinda.com, where people from across the globe have donated funds.
"After a while I came to realise how great Griffith is and ... how supportive the community is," he said.
"I prefer knowing the funds raised will go directly to helping the school community."
Mr Woodbridge said support had so far been strong.
"People who are never likely to visit Griffith and Kalinda are willing to give, even if it's just the price of a coffee or a beer, to help these kids," he said.
Kalinda School principal Denis Murphy thought the idea was "fantastic".
"John has talked about providing the money in trust that can be used for an annual award in honour of his father," Mr Murphy said.
"That is most welcome from the school's point of view.
"The fact that he's working such a long way away but still considers Griffith home is a really lovely gesture."