This recap was submitted by Emily Sallee, a Run Oregon reader, 10k runner, and team captain for “Purple Shiners for Shriners,” Cause and Event’s 2nd largest team this year. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.
I love races in late Summer / early Fall. Vacations are winding down, people are spending time with their families before school starts, and the morning air is crisping up. All this sets the stage for family fun runs, and as my girls get older (and heavier to push in the BOB), they look forward to these races almost as much as I do.
I’ve gotten to the point of avoiding most large race scenes. I’m way over spending $40 for a tech shirt and running 6miles in a cattle herd. Smaller races with 100% volunteers donating all proceeds to a charity close to the heart of the race directors… That’s the way to go. They have such a different atmosphere and feeling of camaraderie to them. Like LadyBug Run, raising funds and awareness for CDH, and Hero-Up, donating to childhood cancer research. I know I’m at these races to run and have fun with my family, but I also know I’m there for a bigger reason.
Cause + Event Portland offers something even more special to its participants. At least 50% of every registration fee goes to the non-profit of the runner’s choice. The kids runs, 5K walk/run, 10K run, half marathon and virtual registration options really open this event to everyone. Obviously this must be somewhat of a nightmare for the race organizers, but Amy Little, Cyndie Pelto, Charlie Stilfield and their team are so enthusiastic and celebratory about this event, it all seems so effortless.
This was my second year running C+E, and the calendar year between the two events was, well, eventful for my family. Last year this time, we were getting ready for my then-3-year-old daughter to spend two months at Shriners Children’s Hospital preparing for fusion surgery to correct her cervical scoliosis. I remember leaving the event with a voicemail on my phone from Shriners, clouding the entire morning of fun with friends and family. After 43 days as an in-patient in halo traction, 96 days post-fusion surgical in a halo/vest, and 70 days in a SOMI brace, my daughter is now strong and straight. Besides C+E marking the beginning and end of this journey, it means so much more.
Last year, in preparing to join the Shriners community, Purple Shiners for Shriners was a team of nearly 50 at C+E, raising over $2000. This year, in celebration and thanks for everything Shriners has done for my daughter and other children like her, Purple Shiners was 90 strong, nearly the largest team at C+E. Last year our purple team was a physical gathering of support when we needed it most. This year our purple team was an amazing party of people who held my family up during an incredibly difficult year.
Cause + Event is a venue for anyone that has been personally touched by a non-profit. It’s a way to payback for something you can never pay back. Thanks to the C+E team, I got to do something I love best, with my family and friends, for an organization that I will forever be paying back.