This week has been quite the week at Operation Kids, as we prepare for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back – which starts in just two weeks.
Four years ago, Operation Kids began working with Ragnar Events in a joint effort to improve children’s health and fitness along the Wasatch Back relay route. When Ragnar launched the Ragnar Relay Series and began to expand nationwide in 2006, they asked us to join them as their national charity partner.
Over the last year we’ve really ramped up our efforts with a goal of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for children’s health and fitness programs in the 11+ metropolitan areas through which a Ragnar Relay runs. This year, we are celebrating our biggest Ragnar fundraising effort yet at the Wasatch Back relay – which runs 188(ish) miles from Logan to Park City, Utah.
It is significant because it’s virtually in our own backyard, but also because the charity to which we’ll distribute funds is one of our long-standing “OK-Approved” charities, Best Buddies, where the funds will go to provide opportunities for kids with intellectual disabilities and their buddies along the Wasatch Front to participate in their own Best Buddies Utah 5k Walk/Run (scheduled for spring 2010), as well as to provide seed money for new chapters along the race route.
It’s easy to take for granted that I (were I in good shape and desired to do so) could enter a race – virtually any race – or lace up my running shoes and run out my door and down the street – but many kids with intellectual disabilities never get those same chances. I am so excited to work to try and make that possible for hopefully thousands of kids next spring.
As we gear up a great fundraising effort, we have generated dozens of spreadsheets, checklists, e-mails, field trips and a lot of formal and informal meetings. Operation Kids is helping Best Buddies put on a spectacular breakfast at Exchange 30 Saturday as one of the fundraising initiatives. I can’t wait until I can share the menu – it’s not your typical fundraising breakfast, for certain!
I love working on projects like this – to see everyone so energized about an event that is going to help raise money for such a great cause. There is a vibe around the office that is almost like what you felt just before Christmas or summer vacation as a kid – a sense of great anticipation and eagerness to see it all come to fruition.
You can keep up on all the crazy progress by following us on Twitter @OperationKids or keep an eye out on the blog for pictures, updates and a recap of the fundraising success.