The 13th annual Shamrock Shuffle is about more than just having a good time. It also benefits the area groups that participate in it.
Scheduled for March 9 in West Chester Twp., the event features 5K/10K event races that start at 9 a.m., and a Community Block Party that continues until noon, hosting more than 5,000 attendees on The Square @ Union Centre. Many participants arrive in St. Patrick’s Day attire.
For the first time in the event’s 13-year history, 100 percent of proceeds will support the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty’s Community Grants Fund, as well as the many different nonprofit organizations that register a team through the Shuffle Gives Back program. Previously, a portion of the funds raised at the Shamrock Shuffle provided operating support for the Foundation.
Each year, the event raises approximately $100,000 with more than $30,000 of those proceeds granted through the Shuffle Gives Back. In 2018, the Shamrock Shuffle was a little down after two years of bad weather, raising more than $86,000 with nearly $20,000 granted back to participating charity teams.
This year, the foundation is leaving Shuffle Gives Back Team Registration up until the week of the event, according to Karen Gibbs, director of programs and marketing for the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty.
“If someone is able to pull together a team at the last minute to benefit their favorite charity, we welcome their participation,” Gibbs said. “However, the five teams with the most members by the end of the day on Feb. 19 will receive a free tent at the block party, so we encourage teams to register and recruit members before then.”
So far, the Shamrock Shuffle has 30 teams registered to participate, she said. At least half of Shamrock Shuffle participants each year register as part of a charity team.
The event started as a very small endeavor in 2006 put on by the Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty’s Youth in Philanthropy high school group. Since then, it has grown and evolved into a larger event, in partnership with West Chester Twp.
“The Community Foundation was established as at the grass-roots level; we are so proud to continue that legacy through Shuffle Gives Back, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to participate in philanthropy,” Gibbs said.
There must be a minimum of 15 team members in order for the charity to receive a grant from Shuffle Gives Back. Grants will be made in the amount of $150 for the first 15 members and $10 a member thereafter. Two child registrations equals one team member and there is a 3-volunteer-per-team requirement.
Teams are also invited to reserve a spot at the Block Party to raise awareness for their cause.
Find race routes and complete details at www.theshamrockshuffle.com.