WASHINGTON-The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and surrounding events blew right past the fundraising goal of $500,000, Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Chairman Juri Valdov recently announced. Credit unions’ fundraising efforts for 2006 reached $530,000, approximately $100,000 more than last year. The funds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Even the new record holder for a women’s 10-mile closed-loop course, Lidiya Grigoryeva who finished the race in 52 minutes and 11 seconds, announced last week that she was donating 5% of her winnings to the cause. “I truly believe it is extremely important to help children who are ill, as I have a four-year-old daughter myself,” she wrote in a letter to race director Phil Stewart and Valdov. The 32-year-old Russian runner wore a racing bib with the name `Joey,’ a children’s hospital patient. “In the five years that credit unions have sponsored the race, we’ve raised over $1.5 million,” Valdov, CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union, said. “That’s a testament to all of the hard work by credit union volunteers across the U.S. who come together each year to support the run and America’s children’s hospitals.” Though no goal has been set for next year, he said he would not be surprised to see credit unions raise as much as $1 million in a year not too far off. This year was the 34th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and the fifth year that it has been sponsored by credit unions. More than 10,000 runners participated. As part of the competition, CUNA, NAFCU, Congressional Federal Credit Union and United States Senate Federal Credit Union sponsor the race’s annual Capitol Hill Competition with separate Senate and House awards. Each year, the fastest teams battle for the honor of adding their name to the perpetual trophy; the winners will be named shortly. The entire event also raises awareness of credit unions and CMN and the work they do on Capitol Hill.

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