Cecily Tynan first came to Philadelphia in 1995, when she was appointed weekend weather anchor and reporter for the Action News 6abc team. The award-winning journalist swiftly began participating in countless charity races in the city, first, as a marathon runner and later as an honorary chairperson.
Today, as Action News chief meteorologist, it’s Tynan’s job to inform the city of what to expect for their weekly forecast. But her work doesn’t stop there; the former world-class professional duathlete also serves as a megaphone for charities like the American Lung Association and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, her cause of choice as this year’s Health Hero VIP.
Each week through October 9th, we’re speaking to one very influential Philadelphian who is continuing to make this city a better, healthier place through their philanthropic work. To coincide with the Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge, presented by Independence Blue Cross, our three VIPs will face off to win $2,500 to benefit the charity of their choosing. Starting October 23rd, you can vote for your favorite Health Hero Challenge finalist—and put your bid in for this year’s VIP—right here.
Read our interview with Tynan below to learn more about how her experience as a mother aided the decision to donate to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
What was your first experience with charity work?
I started with running charity races. That lead to being the honorary chairperson for races, several benefitting the American Lung Association. Now, I’ve taken a hiatus from running races, but I try to be part of other charity events as much as possible.
What is it about the running community that inspires you to help others?
I’ve run races in the Philadelphia area for more than twenty years now, and I love the camaraderie of the running community. It shows that when people join together for the common good, they can accomplish very lofty goals.
What factored into that decision to devote more of your free time to charity?
I think my turning point was becoming a parent—that’s when I realized the importance of being selfless. I want to teach my children to put others first because you teach by example.
Why did you choose to fundraise for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia?
Number one, because I’m a mom. Fortunately, my family hasn’t needed the resources of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for any serious illnesses, but it is reassuring to know we have a world-class children’s hospital in our city. I was recently a part of a CHOP fashion show to raise awareness for pediatric cancer patients, and talking to those brave kids and their parents was a very emotional experience.
What is your definition of civic responsibility?
Do what you can! Everyone has different economic and time restrictions. We can’t all donate as much as Bill and Melinda Gates, but if enough people even donate a few dollars, that adds up. Same thing with time. We’re all busy, but don’t we all have a few hours every now and then for charity work?
Read more about this year’s Health Hero challenge now.