This annual West Chester event raises more than $100K for local charities

This year’s version of the Shamrock Shuffle with continue to have the green beer and the camaraderie, but it is so much more for the charitable organizations that benefit from the event that pulled in more than $130,000 last year.

The 14th annual 5k/10k walk and run event happen March 14 from The Square @ Union Centre and about 5,000 participants are expected. Erin Clemons, president and CEO, Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty, said there is something new this year, something they are very proud of.

“This year for the first time ever I secured some matching dollars for the charity teams,” Clemons said. “Just to kind of help promote those top charities and to drive them to obviously get more people — because they have a match available to them — to race.”

So far there are 24 charity teams registered for the race, like the Dragonfly Foundation for cancer kids, Pink Ribbon Girls, who support breast cancer survivors, and Reach Out Lakota. Registration ranges from $15 for youth ages 13 and under in the untimed race to $42 in the competitive 5K for adult runners and $15 to $47 for the longer event. Prices go up after March 11.

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The participants raised $130,000 last year, to support the foundation’s community grant program and the charity teams.

“The money raised does not come to support the Community Foundations operating dollars or anything like that, which is exciting,” Clemons said. “That’s been a transition over the past two years, that the Foundation is sustainable and now we’re just excited that 100 percent of the proceeds benefit all of the charities that are near and dear in our community as well as all the participating charities form all over southwestern Ohio.”

Kim Kuwatch, co-captain of the Pink Ribbon Girls team, said for at least five years the team has numbered around 100 participants.

“It’s just a fun event if nothing else,” Kuwatch said. “It’s an event where we can get our name out there and tell people what we do, we always have our little booth. It’s a good time to get together so survivors can go beyond the cancer and see that, hey we’re out there having fun.”

It’s not all about the race either, the Block Party, featuring green beer, hard seltzers, non-alcoholic beverages, tons of food and free long-sleeve T-shirts, runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Non-runner/walkers can join the fun for $30.

For more information, or to register for the event go to:

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