For the second time this year, Loras students and Dubuque community members pounded the pavement Sunday to raise money “for the kids.”
The first For the Kids 5K (FT5K) took place in May. The race is a 5K run/walk put on by the Loras Dance Marathon (also called Duhawk DM) and Moms of Miracles to raise additional funds for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
May’s event drew 75 runners who helped raise about $1,400. This time, about 160 runners pre-registered for the event, with even more people waiting until race day to register for the event. The fundraising tally for this event was not yet available as of Tuesday.
The race originated from a group that was inspired by Duhawk DM: the Moms of Miracles. These are some mothers — and one father — from the Dubuque area who wanted to join the effort to support and raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
The FT5K began Sunday at the Medline parking lot on Dubuque’s west side. Loras students, “miracle families” and community members came together to run or walk the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course.
The president of the Loras Dance Marathon chapter this year is senior Alyssa Schroeder. She said the FT5K is the first of many events that Duhawk DM will organize this year as part of its overall mission.
“This year, I have the privilege of being the president of one of the most successful Dance Marathons in the nation,” said Schroeder. “I am blessed to work with an amazing team and inspiring families to help give support both emotionally and financially to children who benefit from University of Iowa Children’s Hospitals.”
Schroeder said she leads an enthusiastic group of Loras students in Dance Marathon who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise money, encourage participation, raise awareness of charity efforts and to plan the actual dance.
“I love this organization because I have been given the opportunities to get to work with some of the most driven and passionate individuals I have ever met,” Schroeder said. “I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to watch each one of these miracle families grow through everything they have been through. They have truly been my inspiration to make each day even better than the one it follows.”
Kim Walsh is the faculty adviser to these hard-working students. She also has a personal connection to the Miracle Network.
“I have been the DM adviser ever since the group was formed nine years ago,” Walsh said. “I originally began the organization to help students to understand the importance of philanthropy. However, it became a personal passion of mine in 2010 when my niece, Anna, was diagnosed with cancer and became one of our ‘miracle kids.’
“During her battle with cancer, she loved Dance Marathon and all of the things it funded at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital,” Walsh continued. “I saw firsthand the impact the organization had on our miracle kids and their families.”
Dance Marathon holds numerous events throughout the year in its efforts to get more people involved in supporting ailing children and the Children’s Miracle Network. Keep an eye out on campus for more of their fundraising activities.