Organizers said they expect a record turnout of congressional participants in the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run on Sunday in Washington, D.C.
Strong turnout also is expected at two overseas sites for the annual event and at the inaugural Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run, being held in California’s capital city on the same day, also as a benefit for the Children’s Miracle Network.
“We’re expecting 15,000 runners, 950 Capitol Hill staffers and a record 185 congressional honorary race chairs,” said Sarah Turner, director of Credit Union Miracle Day Inc., the event's organizer.
Races also are set for Saturday at the U.S. Army garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany, and on Sunday at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
Planning for the Sacramento event has been under way since last summer and so far $140,000 has been raised to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada under auspices of the California/Nevada Credit Union League.
“We could have held our inaugural run in Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego but we chose Sacramento to demonstrate to lawmakers exactly what credit unions are doing to help support such worthwhile charities as Children’s Miracle Network,” said that run’s chairman, John Pamer, CEO of Diablo Valley FCU in Concord, Calif.
“We will have 400 volunteers helping us out on Sunday,” said Pamer who said he got the idea for a Sacramento version of the Cherry Blossom Run after taking part in the Washington event three years in a row.
Pamer said credit union sponsors nationally expect to donate $515,000 to the hospitals from this year’s efforts.
CUNA said it, too, again expects a large contingent of runners from its staff and from credit unions across the country to converge on the nation’s capital for the 10-mile run, which attracts world-class runners and weekend joggers alike.
“Once again we’ll have a team of volunteers who will work in the bag check tent,” added Mark Wolff, senior vice president of communications.
“We’re part of a group that collects bags with jackets, cell phones, and other stuff they don’t want to carry while running just before the race,” he said. “We’ve been volunteering in the bag check tent for years but we think we now have it down to a science.”