With the pall of a Covid Variant casting a shadow on the plans for the 10th annual Weekend Survival Kits Hunger Heroes Race, we were not confident that another virtual race would be enthusiastically embraced by our friends and supporters. Boy, were we wrong! This year’s race was a great success thanks to generous sponsors and so many people willing to go out on a limb and follow where we are leading.
With the amazing support from our intrepid design helpers Lee Brege from Merritt Press and Designs by Bean, our plans got off on the right foot with great graphics including a fun life-size Hunger Hero on a Peloton Bike with a cut-out for photo opportunities, and snappy long-sleeve tees for you runners. Plus, partnering with RunSignUp continues to be a great choice for races either in person events or virtual. This year, full advantage was taken of the online tools to build out a simple and effective way for individual runners to create their own race fundraiser or simply to donate funds over and above the race fee.
The stakes were high this year to make sure the event was a hit for adults and children alike. That is why Evergreen Wealth Management chose to support the event with two significant prizes, a Peloton exercise bike and one-year online subscription for the adults, and for the kids a PS5 gaming system! The prizes were used to create additional support for our mission of feeding hungry kids. While all our race runners were qualified to win just by entering the race, the opportunity to win extra prize entries created added incentive for those wishing to create their own fund-raiser or to simply donate more.
Runners supported the Hunger Heroes Race to the tune of $5,058 through race entries, direct donations, and personal race fundraisers!
All told, this year there were 227 racers committed to running their own race, at their pace and at the place and time of their own choosing within the two-week race window. Last year’s virtual race yielded 148 racers. And by comparison 2019’s in-person race had reached an all time high of 300 participants. While nothing takes the place of the fun and comradery that the in-person race creates as we experience the athletes competing in races designed for their skill level…and nothing compares with the heart-warming enthusiasm of our youth runners, we still feel like a good time was had by all!
New this year was a commitment to publicize the Hunger Heroes Race with the help from our friends from Fox 47 Morning Blend program. Jeff Gorsline and Kyla Parkllan collaborated with the Morning Blend hosts to produce weekly updates leading up to the race. Special thanks go to our hosts Deb Hart and Bob Hoffman and their production team. Plus, our sales representative, Dana Kromer who was so moved by our mission that she donated her commission.
And last, but certainly not least … the gratitude that we have for our sponsors is deep. First, our Title Sponsor Delta Dental went the “extra smile” by being our year-long sponsor and offering to pay for Delta employees to enter the Hunger Heroes race. The local Arby’s Foundation made an incredibly generous gift, and there was an extraordinary list of supporting sponsors who raised the level of funds significantly.
Delta Dental of Michigan
Junior League of Lansing
Steve Berg/Farm Bureau
To recap, our total revenue from the 2021 Weekend Survival Kits Hunger Heroes race was just shy of $30,000! That will go a long way towards supporting the coordination and distribution of the weekend survival kits.