For the third consecutive year, Family Centers' Communications Director Bill Brucker endured the sub-zero temperatures and unpredictable weather often associated with Connecticut's winters to train for a spring marathon.

While he logged all those miles in hopes of running a good race, Brucker also aimed to help Fairfield County's most vulnerable children in the process.

Leading up to the 2014 Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon March 15, Brucker collected nearly $3,000 in donations to help Family Centers offer preschool scholarships to local children. Since starting marathon running in 2012, he has raised almost $9,000 for the agency.

"Running can be a very solitary sport," Brucker said. "I do most of my training runs alone, and race results don't mean much to anyone other than me. Knowing that I'm helping Family Centers give young kids the preschool education they deserve keeps me motivated, and gives these races a greater sense of purpose."

Brucker, of Stamford, completed the 26.2-mile course in a personal best time of 3:25:42 -- placing 207 out of a field of 2,734 marathon runners and more than 23,000 half-marathon participants.

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County.