Posts Tagged ‘American Heart Association’

MyoMed Ragnar Relay – Wasatch Back Update

Monday, August 4th, 2008

About six weeks ago, I mentioned our increasing involvement with the MyoMed Ragnar Relay series, just prior to the MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back race.

Operation Kids became involved because Ragnar was looking for a way to ensure that funds raised by the race went to organizations and programs that were effective, efficient and committed to youth health and fitness.

 I am excited to announce that this year’s efforts raised nearly $20k for the youth and communities along the 178-mile relay course from Logan to Park City, Utah.

Just this past week, I was able to hand a check over for $10k to the local chapter of the American Heart Association to distribute educational health and fitness materials in schools along the race route.

Rick Larsen (Operation Kids), Meredith Mannheim (American Heart Assoc.), Tanner Bell (Ragnar Events)

Rick Larsen (Operation Kids), Meredith Mannheim (American Heart Assoc.), Tanner Bell (Ragnar Events)

Meredith Mannheim, development director for the local AHA, said:
“Staying healthy in today’s fast-food and video game world is one of the biggest challenges facing today’s children. We’re thrilled that Ragnar Events has decided to focus attention on youth health and fitness, and grateful to Operation Kids for choosing us as this year’s MyoMed Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back charity recipient. We look forward to helping children and families in communities along the race route better understand the things they need to do a guarantee a healthier life.”

The $10k was raised and donated by the race participants and supporters. Additionally, a fundraiser held by Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber (a town along the race route), raised $7,500 by providing meals to runners.

Additionally, Ragnar Events (the race’s host), donated $2,200 to schools along the race route to support youth sports programs.

It is nice to hear about charitable giving, but it is even nicer to hear about the funds raised, how they will be used and witness the impact they make. Meredith is right – with video games and fast food, being a healthy kid today takes more work than ever – from all of us.

 We are making final arrangements for the charities along the race routes of several other MyoMed Ragnar Relay races to be held this year. We expect, as our relationship continues, the donations will become even more sizeable.

Which youth and health fitness programs seem to make the biggest difference to you?

Ragnar Relays-Wasatch Back

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

As you know, Operation Kids has been the fortunate beneficiary of some great events. As I prepare for a weekend in Palm Springs with the NFL contingent of the Pro Sports Team Challenge, I am keenly aware of the power these great sporting events can have to help kids.

The support continues, and I want to tell you about a great event that began right here in Utah along a stretch of mountain road known by locals as “The Wasatch Back.”

Dan Hill and Tanner Bell are two young guys with a love for running and a desire to give back. What they have created is extraordinary, and Operation Kids is proud to be part of it.

Dan and Tanner created a company called Ragnar Events. They create running events using a “relay marathon” format. You need to see this to fully appreciate it, but the short story is: a team of runners, of all levels of ability, run as a team and are immediately hooked.

The Utah event is now just one of many, as they have expanded into Minnesota, Florida, Arizona and Texas (just to name a few.) They will stage over 25 races nationally by 2009. Way to go guys!

From Operation Kids’ perspective, what does Ragnar mean to kids and communities? In the case of these events, it means a lot.

Over the past two years, Ragnar has raised significant amounts of money through its events:
• $10k plus for Rocky Mountain Middle School in Heber, Utah
• $5k for public schools in Arizona
• $5k to help with orthopedic research in Minnesota
• $4k for public schools in Wisconsin
• $5k to raise awareness for colon cancer screening in Washington State
• $5k for breast cancer research at their 2007 Arizona event

Operation Kids love this concept. As the Ragnar Relays pass through a community, they leave behind some important footprints, namely, hope for kids. The 2008 Wasatch Back will create proceeds that contribute to school programs created by the American Heart Association, along with youth programs in schools all along the race course. We are in the process of finding great and worthy programs in other race locations including Texas, Florida and Maryland.

Check out their web site and see if Ragnar is coming to your community. Thanks Dan and Tanner and continued success with a fun and effective way to help kids.