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Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Partly Cloudy, 30 °F

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Representatives from OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital with their check for $1,878 for their 4 causes (Healthy Moms & Babies, Suicide Prevention Coalition, SeniorBEAT, and Patient Assistance Fund)

Photo courtesy of: College of Business

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Excited kid holds sign up during event

Photo courtesy of: College of Business

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Participants wait at the 5K start line

Photo courtesy of: College of Business

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University and OhioHealth O'Bleness set a Race for a Reason fundraising record


The OhioHealth O'Bleness Race for a Reason has eclipsed previous participation and fundraising records. The event included a sprint triathlon, mud run, 5K run, and 3K walk, and boasted 1,029 participants that raised more than $115,000 benefiting more than 100 organizations.

"This is a testament to the dedication of the graduate students in the Ohio University's Department of Sports Administration. They worked tirelessly to execute a world-class event that gives back to our community in a tangible way," said Jim Kahler, executive director for the College of Business's Center for Sports Administration. "As the best graduate sports administration program in the world, we recognize a responsibility to our community and world. Every graduate student brings that perspective to this effort."

The goal of the event is two-fold, raising funds for charitable causes and providing students hands-on, practical experience in event planning, sports marketing, and management. Students participate in every event and organize every detail from the publicity and fundraising coordination to setting up and working check-in and the race routes.

Director of the race Carey Goodman said, "Race for a Reason has taught me the importance of giving back and building relationships. [The race] allows all types of people to come together under one event, raise money, and race for a cause that is near and dear to them."

Race beneficiaries were varied, ranging from AMVETS Diabetes Research to Lilly's Sunshine, a fundraising effort supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation founded in honor of six-year-old Lilly Straley who suffers from the disease. Lilly is the daughter of an Ohio University associate professor, Daryn Straley.

Kate Carrico, raised nearly $1,300 to support Lilly's Sunshine.

"I chose Lilly's Sunshine through a connection my graduate program has with the Straley family. It was an honor to raise funds for Lilly," said Carrico. "The event is a phenomenal way to get involved with the community through fitness, while making an incredible impact on individuals and groups for the future."

The previous fundraising record was set in 2013, when the race had more than 850 participants and raised more than $73,000 for more than 40 charities worldwide.  

The event has been sponsored by OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital since its inception in 2012. OhioHealth O'Bleness initially sponsored the event to promote wellness as a community partner.

"When the organizers approached us about supporting Race for a Reason, we wanted to become involved because the mission of the event is so closely aligned to ours," said Greg Long President of OhioHealth O'Bleness Hospital. "Much of the money raised supports the health and well-being of our community and this event has a real impact. The team that put the races together this year did an amazing job."