ALBANY — One in 10 children in North America is treated by a Children’s Miracle Network hospital each year, with 62 entering a CMN hospital every minute, officials with the organization say. This is prompting a need for pediatric care for issues rannging from common ailments to life-threatening challenges.
As part of an effort to raise CMN funds for Southwest Georgia, Albany’s first Dance Dash 5K with a Twist is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Aug. 23 at Phoebe HealthWorks at 311 W. Third Ave. During this event, participants will run five kilometers and also learn some dance moves along the way, culminating in a flash mob at the end of the race.
The race will start at Phoebe HealthWorks and go through the Rawson Circle area.
“It is the same course we use for Jingle Bell Jog,” said Amanda Biery, CMN coordinator at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
There will be three places along the route at which participants will stop and learn a dance. One stage will build on the other before the flash mob culminates at the Phoebe HealthWorks field.
Biery said that CMN is currently lacking a nationwide signature event. She said Phoebe was one of 20 hospitals chosen to pilot the race with the hope it will eventually turn into the organization’s signature event.
“We are trying it,” she said. “We think it will definitely be kept.”
The goal, Biery said, is to register 400 runners and to raise $25,000. So far, that mark is a way off, but it might be met — if past events are an indication.
“Albany is very much a last-minute town,” Biery said.
With the annual Jingle Bell Jog fundraiser, she said, “We usually get 800 registrations in the last week. … When people hear Dance Dash, they will think of Children’s Miracle Network.”
Officials say all proceeds will stay in Southwest Georgia and go directly to CMN for the care of children at Phoebe, which is considered vital in an area where pediatric specialist care historically has been scarce.
“Many people don’t know what it is we actually do,” Biery said. “At Children’s Miracle Network, we buy equipment not budgeted by the hospital, or improvements to equipment not budgeted by the hospital. We are where funds come in and supplement the budget, and they (children) get the same care the would get in Atlanta or Macon.”
Advance registration for the race is available at www.dancedash.org. Day-of-event registration opens at 7 a.m. The cost is $45, with children under 5 getting in for free. After registering, each participant is given a fundraising page, which can be utilized to reach out to friends and family members for support. Prizes, which are earned at certain levels, starting at $50 and going through $1,500 or more, include sunglasses, socks, a water bottle, a cooler, a jacket and headphones.
Advance registration will be cut off at 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 22 and the donation cut-off will be at noon on Sept. 5. Registration can be done in teams as well as individuals. Packet pickup will be at Phoebe HealthWorks. The course will not be timed, and costumes are welcome. Jogging strollers are also welcome.
Offline donations will be accepted at packet pickup and on race day. Visit www.dancedash.org, call (229) 312-1494 or email email@example.com for more information.
For more information about the Dance Dash 5K, click here.
By Jennifer Parks, The Albany Herald
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