Bright and early Sunday morning, Tar Heels of all ages gathered around the Old Well to run the sixth annual Kilometers For The Kids race.
Hosted by Carolina For The Kids, the largest student-run nonprofit in North Carolina, the race took place during Carolina Family Weekend and featured a one-mile Fun Run and 5k. Hannah Dix, executive director of Carolina For The Kids, said the event helps connect students and their families with the foundation’s cause.
“What’s really nice about the race the past few years is we’ve had the opportunity to partner with family weekend, and that’s been really great because so many of our runners will bring their families, and their parents,” Dix said. “That’s really special for committee members, and people who participate so heavily in our organization, because their families get to see firsthand what they’re doing.”
All the money raised at Kilometers For The Kids will go directly towards supporting the patients and families at UNC Children’s Hospitals. Dara Burg, publicity chair of Carolina For The Kids, said the foundation raises money to help cover the costs of hospital stays not covered by insurance – such as gas cards and meals.
“Everything we do is FTK – or For The Kids,” Burg said. “So the main goal for this event is to provide that financial support, but also the emotional support for our patients and families.”
Many families from UNC’s Children’s Hospital were present at the race, as well as doctors who have seen the work Carolina For The Kids has done over the years. Also in attendance were a few Kid Co-Captains – current or former patients who have benefited from Carolina For The Kids and now partner with them.
David Brewer, member of the publicity committee, ran the race for the second time this year.
“I’m running for the kids, just to help support them and their journey through whatever they’re going through,” Brewer said. “It’s just great seeing all the kids and families out here, and that’s why we’re all out here in the first place.”
Heather Murphy, mother of a Kid Co-Captain, spoke before the beginning of the race regarding her positive experience with Carolina For The Kids. Murphy expressed her gratitude for the emotional support provided by members of the foundation that volunteer at UNC Children’s Hospital.
“Maybe it’s just an hour of volunteer time to get your credit, but to the families it’s way more than that,” Murphy said. “For all the little things you do, it really is a lot – and we want to say thank you.”
Dix said her favorite part of Kilometers For The Kids is hearing the Kid Co-Captains and their families speak before the race about their experiences with Carolina For The Kids.
“To hear the impact that our organization was able to have on them, it’s really amazing, especially early in the morning when you’re about to run a race,” Dix said. “It really sets off the day, and the year on the right foot.”
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