An event that draws thousands to West Chester does more than just throw a party

The Shamrock Shuffle attracts thousands of people to West Chester’s Square@Union Centre to attend the event as runners and to enjoy the Block Party, which includes coffee, green beer, food vendors and family-friendly fun. CONTRIBUTED

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The Shamrock Shuffle attracts thousands of people to West Chester’s Square@Union Centre to attend the event as runners and to enjoy the Block Party, which includes coffee, green beer, food vendors and family-friendly fun. CONTRIBUTED

A signature event in this growing Butler County community’s downtown area is expected to attract more than 5,000 people on St. Patrick’s Day and raise thousands of dollars for scores of participating charities.

The 12th annual Shamrock Shuffle will be held Saturday, March 17, at The Square@Union Centre and includes two chip-timed races — the Contingent 5K and UCBMA 10K.

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Erin Clemons, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, which launched the event in 2006, said besides the races, the event will feature the Block Party, which includes coffee, green beer, food vendors and family-friendly fun.

The i9 Sports Leprechaun Lap has been redesigned this year to allow children ages 2 to 10 to participate in a Fun Run, with the participants getting to cross the finish line. Each child receives a participation ribbon, breakfast, and T-shirt. Upon arrival on race day, Leprechaun Lappers will check in at the Clock Tower in the middle of The Square. For more information, visit www.theshamrockshuffle.com.

The Beer Obstacle Course returns to the Block Party this year for its second year, allowing participants to complete a series of challenges while keeping beer in their mugs. Winners receive Shamrock Shuffle swag and all participants get to keep the beer mug.

The Shamrock Shuffle also includes the Shuffle Gives Back, which allows non-profit organizations to register a team to raise money for their specific cause or interest. Each participant means more money for that organization.

Last year, the Shamrock Shuffle raised more than $110,000 and granted $32,000 back to participating charity teams.

Clemons said the organization has invited charity teams to raise dollars through the program since 2011. Since then, she said, nearly $174,000 has been granted to participating charity teams.

Clemons said the Shamrock Shuffle, which is staff-led with some committee volunteers, offers an opportunity for people from all walks of life to participate in local philanthropy.

“As a community foundation one of our roles is to encourage and facilitate charitable giving,” she said. “The Shamrock Shuffle has become a great vehicle to achieve that goal. Our hope is that the charities participate in Shuffle Gives Back not only raise some dollars to support their cause, but raise awareness as well, and build connection within the West Chester/Liberty community.”

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