Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth’s seventh annual Hero Half Marathon and Ripcord 5K raised more than $570,000 and saw participation of more than 2,800 runners and volunteers on Sunday, according to CHaD Community Relations Manager Kimberly Kraus. For the first time in the event’s history, the run was held in October instead of August, which allowed more Dartmouth students to participate.
Kraus said that the increased presence of Dartmouth students helped make this year’s run a success.
“This is the first time we’ve really had students be a force and a real presence,” she said. “We have just been blown away.”
The event was started in 2006 by CHaD volunteer Jess Hastings. During its first year, 700 runners competed in the half marathon, and the event raised about $125,000, according to Kraus.
The organizers decided to move the event due to scheduling conflicts and the uncomfortable heat of the late summer.
“It was hard to engage [Dartmouth students] when they aren’t actually in town,” Kraus said, noting that the fundraiser previously fell in the interim between Summer and Fall terms. “Not to mention, the heat can be brutal, especially when you are running a half marathon.”
Dartmouth students finished in first place in the men’s 5K race, men’s half marathon and women’s half marathon for the 19-and-under group, according to official results.
John Conley ’15, who won the men’s 5K, said that he was proud to participate in the race.
“At Dartmouth, it can feel pretty isolated, like we are in our own little world,” Conley said. “This was a great way to get involved and raise money.”
Conley was part of Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity’s team, which raised more than $3,000.
Jill Corcoran ’15, who won the women’s half marathon, said she was surprised by her victory.
“I do track and cross country,” Corcoran said. “I run every day for practice, but this is definitely my longest run.”
Corcoran said she enjoyed the level of community involvement, and she hopes more people will be involved in the event next year.
Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority philanthropy chair Ginny Miller ’13, who also ran the half marathon, said that the event benefitted from Dartmouth students’ participation.
“Lots of philanthropy feels really distant,” Miller said. “This is at Dartmouth, so it feels more real. It’s almost easier to get people involved because they are more likely to give when they know what the cause they are supporting is.”
Philanthropic All American Rush, the Inter-Fraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council collaborated with CHaD to sponsor a fundraising competition between Greek houses. Prizes, which will be funded by $14,000 in seed money raised last year, will be awarded to the winning houses and individuals. The final fundraising deadline is Nov. 2, but Dartmouth Greek houses have raised $92,000 for CHaD so far, which includes a dollar-for-dollar matching pledge from the Hanover nonprofit Positive Tracks.
KDE held a bake sale, co-hosted a talent show with Beta Alpha Omega fraternity and helped organize an Oktoberfest celebration with Bones Gate fraternity to raise money for the event, Miller said. This was the first year that KDE was involved with the CHaD run.
“Girls in the past had shown interest and had even gone pretty far to run half marathons,” she said. “It seemed like an awesome event, so we thought why not.”
The majority of the money raised by the event helps fund non-reimbursable programs such as the Intensive Care Nursery, the Child Life Program and the CHaD Family Center, according to Kraus. She said that these programs are important because they support CHaD patients’ emotional health in addition to their physical health.
“They make sure kids who are in the hospital during Christmas get presents or that there are Superman Band-Aids instead of just plain ones,” Kraus said. “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is.”
Colin Murphy ’15, a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity fundraising team, raised the second most of any individual fundraiser, gathering $5,245 for CHaD, according to the fundraising website. Psi U’s team raised $14,308.88, the fourth most of any team, according to the website.