Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Brings in $400,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
In the Northwest, credit unions have raised nearly $25 million for CMNH since 1996 through Credit Unions for Kids.
The credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” was in full force this past weekend in Washington, D.C., during the 47th annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk, where more than 16,000 people participated for a good cause – Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
CMNH is the charity of choice for credit unions nationwide. Credit unions raise funds for children in need of life-saving care in a variety of ways, including every spring before the race. This year credit unions raised $400,000, nearing a total of $10 million in donations since credit unions began sponsoring the race in 2002. On race day, more than 600 credit union staffers volunteered.
Regionally, credit unions have raised approximately $25 million for CMNH since 1996 through Credit Unions for Kids, a nonprofit with roots in the Northwest. Credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington hold fundraising events throughout the year, including popular golf tournaments that attract hundreds of players to premier golf courses in the Northwest. In 2018, they raised $1.6 million just through tournaments alone.
Credit unions also raise money for CMNH at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s annual Credit Unions for Kids Auction, held in October at the Association’s MAXX Convention. In 2018, credit unions stepped up in force to raise $631,462 during the auction.
On Sunday during the Credit Union Cherry Blossom race, NWCUA President and CEO, Troy Stang, who was recently elected Vice Chair of the Credit Union National Association’s Board of Directors, welcomed the race’s competitors by holding the finishing line ribbon with Jeanne Kucey, Chair of the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions and President and CEO of Florida-based JetStream Federal Credit Union. The race’s co-lead sponsors included CUNA Mutual Group and PSCU. More than 70 credit unions and leagues nationwide also sponsored the race.
“It was such an honor to welcome all the athletes across the finish line and celebrate the Credit Union Difference in our nation’s capital,” Stang said. “Raising $400,000 is an amazing feat, and I’m proud to represent Northwest credit unions, which have given back to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals year after year. It was exhilarating to see so many people gathered for a great cause.”
Multiple congressional staffers who work for several Northwest lawmakers ran in the race, including a staffer from Idaho Representative Russ Fulcher’s office (R-ID 1).
“I am proud to have my office participating in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run to support the Children’s Miracle Network and their assistance to children’s hospitals,” Fulcher said. “Thank you to all the credit unions in Idaho and across the country for organizing this fundraiser and extending the invitation our way.”
Other Northwest lawmakers’ offices that supported and participated in the race included:
- Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
- Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-ID 1)
- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
- Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3)
- Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR 2)
- Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR 1)
- Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA 1)
- Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA 2)
- Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA 4)
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA 5)
- Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA 10)
About 730 congressional staffers competed against each other, racing for a chance to win the Congressional Cup. In addition, 169 members of Congress served as Honorary Race Chairs, including Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo (R), Oregon’s Blumenauer, and Washington’s DelBene, Newhouse, and Heck.
The race attracts elite international and American athletes, including world-record holders, Olympic medalists, and American record holders.
On Sunday, Stanley Kebenei of Colorado Springs, Colorado, ran a 46:00 race, breaking Greg Meyer’s 1983 American 10-miler record of 46:13, which was also set on the same course in Washington, D.C. Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru set the course record in the elite women’s race with a time of 50:42, beating the previous record of 51:16. Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer defended his championship win from last year’s race, coming in first with a time of 45:36.
Editor’s Note: Look for upcoming stories in Anthem this month about Northwest credit unions’ donations to CMNH and about the 2019 Auction at MAXX, happening Oct. 16 in Spokane, Washington.