Sunday, The Gathering Place held its 16th annual Race for the Place. Surpassing their goal of $395,000 by raising $406,251 (and counting), the race represented the most successful fundraising event in the organization's history.
Ever since opening its doors in 2000, The Gathering Place has offered programs to provide social, physical, emotional, and spiritual support to those touched by cancer.
With an east side and west side location, the nonprofit cancer support center works to provide programs and resources to individuals diagnosed with cancer and their friends and family members at any point of the journey.
Held at Beachwood Mall, the 5k and 1 mile race gave members of the community and those who had been touched by The Gathering Place a chance to give back.
Sponsors, companies, and general community members formed teams that worked to meet their fundraising goals by registering people to run or walk with their team. Many teams also got creative and held outside events and donated the proceeds to the nonprofit.
For example, the Juma team, led by team captain Margi Weiss and fellow Shaker Heights High School seniors, created an international cook book that included recipes from all over the world and had a tasting event where they raised $1,150 for the cause.
"It was one of the coolest things to see young people so excited to be contributing to the community," said Kris Austin, The Gathering Place's Chief Marketing Officer.
After the race, awards were announced for teams and individual runners. Juma won awards for the largest amount of money raised for both a new and community team and largest number of people on a new team.
Photo courtesy of The Gathering Place and Marc Golub
Other notable awards went out to Advance Partners who raised $23,310, the largest donation from any overall team. Another company team, Zelman & Associates beat their goal of $20,000 and raised $23,088, placing them second overall monetarily. With 220 participants, Zelman & Associates also was awarded for the highest amount team members.
Held on the first Sunday in June as a National Cancer Survivors Day celebration, the race honors survivors as well as those who have lost their battle to cancer.
The Gathering Place will continue to accept donations from the Race for the Place through June 30 on their website
or in person at either of their locations.