O’Blenness Memorial Hospital To Host 3rd-Annual 5K

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The third-annual Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital "Race for a Reason" takes place Saturday along the streets of Athens.

Once again, Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital has teamed up with Ohio University’s Athletes in Action and the Sports Administration Graduate Program to sponsor the entire race.

Tara Gilts, Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital Director of Development, said that the partnership with Race for a Reason is a perfect match based on their similar mission statements.

“We’re both focused on the health, wellness and the well-being of our community,” she said. “So it’s wonderful that we had the opportunity to partner with Race for a Reason again this year and help them continue with their good work in the community.”

Ohio Health raises money for four different causes. Three of which are internal funds through the hospital. These include SeniorBEAT, which provides health care support and services for adults over 60 years old; Healthy Moms and Babies, which supports pediatric services, and the Patient Assistant Fund, which provides additional financial support for patients.

The Suicide Prevention Coalition is the final non-profit organization the hospital has decided to support.

Unlike many fundraising events that raise money for one cause, Race for a Reason raises funds for multiple causes. This year over 80 different charities are being supported by both Ohio University student organizations as well as Athens community organizations.

Carey Goodman, Race for a Reason CO-Director, is a part of the sports administration graduate program organization, which is supporting Cystic Fibrosis. She wanted to become involved with the event because of its large outreach to the community.

“This race just touches so many different people and being Athens has really showed me how special this place is and I just want to give back as much as possible in any way that I can to this place,” she said.

So far the sports administration graduate organization has raised nearly $20,000 for their reason. The goal for the entire event is to collectively raise $100,000 to donate to charities. This would be an increase from last year’s total of about $73,000.

Goodman said that student organizations are continuing to do a better job at actively fundraising.

In just a few short weeks, the Women’s Club Volleyball team raised nearly $800 for their organization. Similar, Chi Omega has raised over $800, which will go towards the Make a Wish Foundation. The ROTC is raising money for their charity, Folds of Honor, which they have raised about $1,500 for.

“Every little bit helps,” said Goodman. “Whether that’s 100 dollars from one of the Greek organizations, that will help somehow.”

Athletes in Action is the OU student organization along with the Sports Administration Graduate Program that organizes the event.

A large portion of their fundraising goes toward funds for the race. Whatever amount is left goes toward paying for their summer mission trips.

Bill Hauschild, Race for a Reason Co-Director, has been working these past three years to expand and improve the race. Two new events were added to Race for a Reason this year.

“This year we added a 3k walk, which is sponsored by Amvets and Humana for the Diabetes. We also added a pre-race concert the night before at Memorial Auditorium.”

The concert will feature contemporary Christian rock group Sanctus real, which will take place at Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Hauschild and race organizers hope to continue to expand the race into the future. CrossFit events and adding a Color Run as well are some other ideas that have been discussed.

Online registration for the event ends Thursday at midnight. However, walk up registration is available the day of the race. $10 of the registration fee is donated directly back to the charity being supported.