2020 was a tough year, no doubt. Thankfully, there was also quite a bit of good stuff to be proud of - thank you for making it all happen...
Hartford Marathon Foundation Inspires Community Giving,
Fosters $513,000 in Participant Donations in 2020
With road races halted for the pandemic, non-profit creates new ways to encourage runners
The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) pivoted its 2020 calendar of road race events to create virtual races, challenges and engagement programs for runners and walkers to keep active for physical and mental health benefits. In the process, the non-profit race management company fostered $513,122 in donations from participants to support local causes. Additionally, HMF collected almost 2,000 pounds of non-perishable food donations to benefit community partners, including FoodShare, Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown and the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank.
As the Foundation releases its 2021 race calendar and opens registration for its signature annual event, the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, operations staff is assessing all aspects and scenarios to address event safety. Currently, a short-term refund policy is in effect to provide customers assurance of their registration investment while the logistics and safety procedures for the October 2021 event are thoroughly detailed. Attention continues to be paid to community support initiatives that can be tied to 2021 virtual events, challenges, hybrid races and in-person events.
"The generosity, strength and resilience of the local running community inspires us to continue pushing through the arduous tasks of event planning through the pandemic. We're working hard to provide events and programs that encourage people to set and reach different types of goals as we all wait with anticipation for a return to the grand finish line experiences we have proudly delivered for the past 27 years," said Beth Shluger, founder and CEO of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. "We are so appreciative of the participants and the generous sponsor partners that enable us to maintain our dedicated, professional staff and keep our non-profit operations solvent so the community can count on us when we all get to the other side of this."
The single largest HMF charity fundraising initiative in 2020 was the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon. The virtual "Movement with Purpose" brought the community together to raise $420,712 for local charities with the support of Eversource and event sponsors. In addition, targeted community driven efforts included:
• $33,200 raised through the June 2020 UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K and 5K to benefit the UConn Health COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
• $18,197 generated through the virtual Johnson Brunetti 5K & OneDigital UnitedHealthcare Kids Fun Run for Hartford's Camp Courant
• $7,000 provided to FoodShare in partnership with Stop & Shop for the March 2020 Lucky Run and $5,768 provided to FoodShare through the 12Ks of Christmas challeng
• $4,283 raised for the Westerly Hospital Foundation through the Surftown 100 Challenge in September 2020
• $2,960 and food donations for the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank through the Hartford HealthCare Mystic Half Marathon and 10K
Learn more about upcoming events at www.HartfordMarathon.com and follow the conversations on Facebook at HMF Events, Twitter at @RunHMF or Instagram at HMF_Events.