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Posted: March 4, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Cleveland Marathon Charities Donates Nearly $19,000 to Charity Partners

Race has donated over $1 million since inception

CLEVELAND (March 3, 2009) – The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K has become as important an event to its charity partners as it is to its athletes.

In 2008, just one year after creating Cleveland Marathon Charities to facilitate charitable giving, the race has donated $18,400 to local charities that participated in and assisted with the race. Additionally, another ten charities independently raised nearly $350,000 from donors for their participation in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

“We want to contribute financially to organizations that participate in health and fitness initiatives in the community and provide an opportunity for those organizations to raise money on their own,” said Mary Grace Staph, director of Cleveland Marathon Charities. “The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon can be an economic engine for charities because it’s a fitness event that people can participate in regardless of their abilities. That’s why we’re adding a 5K race and allow walkers or runners in all events.”

Since the inception of the Cleveland Marathon in 1978, the race has donated over $1 million to local charities.

Cleveland Marathon Charities, a 501(c)3, organizes and financially rewards school, church and other non-profit groups that are actively involved in the race as participants, volunteers or spectators in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

The 2008 partner charities that received awards for their assistance and participation are:

• Cleveland Clinic Foundation – A not-for-profit academic medical center which depends on the generosity of corporations and foundations to ensure its continued excellence in providing innovative patient care, basic and clinical research, medical and patient education and by improving the campus master plan. $10,000;

• Team In Training® – A program that pairs athletes with cancer survivors to help raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s fight against blood cancers. $3,500 as well as money raised through donations for participation;

• Saint. Ignatius High School – A Catholic school in the Jesuit tradition, desires to create a community of learning that prepares young men for a life of service to God. $1,900;

• Cleveland State University Department of Athletics – An NCAA Division I College Athletics program in downtown Cleveland featuring 17 sports for men and women. $1,500;

• Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland – The largest direct emergency food distribution network in Cuyahoga County with 36 hunger centers which serve an average of 58,000 people each month. Half of those served are children. $1,000;

• Road of Life – A program focused on educating youth about the fitness, diet and tobacco decisions they make that will keep them healthy and make them less likely to develop certain diseases of excess later in life. $500 as well as money raised through donations for participation;

• We Run This City Youth Marathon Program - A program that provides Cleveland Metropolitan School District 6th – 12th graders the opportunity to train and participate in a special youth running program that culminates with running the last mile on race day at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. The marathon donates race entries and the finisher’s medals.

The 2008 partner charities that raised money through participation are:
• Children’s Tumor Foundation – A program organized for the purpose of supporting neurofibromatosis research and services. Neurofibromatosis is a debilitating genetic disorder found mostly in children in which tumors grow randomly throughout the body.

• Thinking Beyond Borders – A non-profit organization that takes graduating seniors to study the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, sustainable agriculture in India, public education in China, environmental conservation in Vietnam and clean water issues in Ecuador in order to educate and prepare tomorrow’s leaders to investigate and solve these complex global issues.

• University Circle Inc. – An organization responsible in the development and growth of University Circle in Cleveland.

• Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation – An organization whose mission is to aggressively fund research to lead to the development of new treatments for multiple myeloma. $X,000;

• Run For Autism – A national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting research that can help those with or related to someone with autism find the answers to their immediate and urgent questions.

• Team Gluten-Free – A training program for runners, walkers and cyclists who participate in races across the United States to raise awareness of Celiac Disease. Team Gluten-Free is a project of the Celiac Disease Foundation.

• John Wayne Cancer Foundation – In honor of John Wayne’s passion for helping others cope with fighting cancer and his own personal struggle, his family created this foundation to bring courage to those in their fight against cancer as well as supporting awareness programs, educational programs, support groups and cancer research.

• New Directions – An organization dedicated to providing quality life-changing treatment to chemically dependant adolescents and their families who are dealing with emotional, behavioral and psychiatric problems.

• A Running Start Foundation – A non-profit corporation dedicated to using the power of sports to improve the lives of youths in the impoverished but talent-rich areas of Africa and help them to earn a U.S. university education through their gift.

• God is Love Online – An organization whose purpose is to glorify and spread the word of God through physical fitness to raise money for charity groups, support families in the Middle East and help pay for marathons and other group activities.

The 2009 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K is scheduled for Sunday, May 17. Non-profit organizations interested in participating in the 2009 event as a charity partner should contact Mary Grace at or (440) 665-4318. More information on the race is available at

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