Back in stride: Popular Shamrock Shuffle charity race returns

Credit: Ali Wolfe

Credit: Ali Wolfe

A COVID pandemic-impacted charity race is back on its feet.

The popular Shamrock Shuffle — a St. Patrick’s Day holiday fund-raiser marathon through the heart of West Chester Twp. — will return on the March holiday weekend.

Gone for two years, the race and post-race block party in the township’s main gathering spot — the Square @ Union Centre — on Saturday, March 16, will again include a community block party and the traditional St. Patrick’s Day beverage of green beer.

And the winners won’t be limited to those sprinting or walking across the finish line as two teen centers in the Lakota school system — along with other local community organizations — will receive much appreciated funding through the philanthropic event.

“After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, I’m finding a lot of excitement and buzz around the return of the Shamrock Shuffle,” said Julie Abrams, who is the Shamrock Shuffle event coordinator.

“And we are very excited to continue the Shuffle Gives Back program where race participants can represent and raise funds for charities they care about. Proceeds from the race will support EDGE Teen Center programs and a multitude of other nonprofit organizations right in our own backyard,” said Abrams.

“This event is extremely important for our community as the positive impact reaches far beyond the race itself. The Shuffle is an opportunity to participate in a great race but also to volunteer as a community bringing together friends, families, coworkers and businesses.”

“We are carrying forward all of the fun traditions set by years of great races including an epic community block party after the run. And yes, the beer will be green,” she said.

Sara Gabbard, executive director of the local schools’ two EDGE Teen Centers – one next to Lakota East High School’s campus in Liberty Twp. and the other at MidPointe Library across the street from Lakota West High School – said she is thrilled to see one of the centers’ key fundraisers return.

And the money will benefit more than a 1,000 Lakota teens who regularly use the EDGE Teen Centers each school year.

“EDGE participants have access to mental health counseling, tutoring, life skills programs and community service opportunities all free of charge,” said Gabbard.

“The Shamrock Shuffle will support these programs and help connect more young people to safe adults who consistently show up, care about them and encourage their good choice,” she said.

More information on how to sign up as a charity fundraiser runner or walker in the 5K race can be found on Shamrock Shuffle’s website.

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