Credit Union-Sponsored Races Raise $600K For CMN

WASHINGTON/SACRAMENTO, Calif.–The credit union-sponsored races and other events that raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals took place on Sunday on both coasts, raising more than $600,000 in total.

In Washington, credit unions sponsored the high-profile Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, while in Sacramento, Calif., credit unions from the California and Nevada leagues sponsored and volunteered at the SacTown Run.

The Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run was won by Jemel Yimer with a time of 45:36, just two seconds ahead of Josphat Tanui, in the men’s division. The women’s division was won by Rosemary Wanjiru with a time of 50:42, followed by Gotytom Gebreslase at 50:47. 

Cherry Blosson 1

From left: John Manzer, Director of Sales and Marketing Operations, CUNA Mutual Group; Linda Albrecht, National Account Vice President, CUNA Mutual Group; Ronda Polhamus, Director, Credit Union Miracle Day; Ken Kramer, President/CEO, United States Senate FCU; Theresa Mann, President/CEO, The Partnership FCU; John Bratsakis, President/CEO, MD|DC Credit Union Association; Ryan Donoavan, Chief Advocacy Officer, CUNA, and Sean Zimmerman, President/CEO, Congressional FCU.

$400,000 Donation

In advance of the18thCredit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run credit unions and their partners presented a $400,000 check to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH). Since credit unions became the title sponsors of the run in 2002, nearly $9.5 million has been donated to CMNHs nationwide. 

“The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run unites communities, credit unions and Congress in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the families they serve.” said John Bratsakis, chair of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race Committee. “We appreciate the generous support of co-lead partners, CUNA Mutual Group and PSCU, and the hundreds of amazing credit union volunteers who donate their time to this high-profile demonstration of the credit union difference.” 

House, Senate Staffers Race

As part of the larger run, more than 730 House and Senate staffers formed 67 teams and raced as part of the Capitol Hill Competition, sponsored by the Congressional FCU and United States Senate FCU, with support from CUNA and NAFCU. Some 173 members of Congress from 46 states, the District of Columbia, and American Samoa served as honorary co-chairs.

“The Children’s Miracle Network does wonderful work for so many families from all over the country,” said Sean Zimmermann, Congressional Federal Credit Union President/CEO. “Sponsoring this competition is one of the most meaningful opportunities we as a credit union have to give back to the community each year. We are grateful that so many members of Congress have recognized our efforts to raise awareness for children’s hospitals by becoming honorary race chairs, and we are pleased to have them join us in this effort.” 

“It is an incredible thing to see so many people from different ideologies and walks of life come together in support of such a worthy cause,” said Kenneth W. Kramer, US Senate Federal Credit Union President & CEO. “United States Senate Federal Credit Union is honored to once again be a sponsor of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.” 

Cherry Blossom 2

At right, bottom, from left, front row: Ronda Polhamus, Director, Credit Union Miracle Day; Regina Morales, mom of Children’s National Patient; Ryan Morales, Children’s National Patient; John Bratsakis, President/CEO, MD|DC Credit Union Association; Theresa Mann, President/CEO, The Partnership FCU; Catherine Safady, VP of Membership, NAFCU; John Manzer, Director of Sales and Marketing Operations, CUNA Mutual Group; and Linda Albrecht, National Account Vice President, CUNA Mutual Group. Back row, from left: Ryan Donovan, Chief Advocacy Officer, CUNA; Ken Kramer, President/CEO, US Senate FCU, and Sean Zimmerman, President/CEO, Congressional FCU.

Hundreds of credit union employees pitched in over the weekend to volunteer at water stops, corrals and other stations, and more than 8,000 credit union members ran in this year’s race. 

‘Embodies the Credit Union Spirit’

“CUNA, leagues and credit unions are honored to continue supporting the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run given the cutting-edge, lifesaving care that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide communities nationwide,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “The race embodies the credit union spirit of coming together to uplift and empower, and we’re proud that the credit union system has helped raise nearly $9.5 million for this cause over the years.” 

“The NAFCU family is tremendously proud to continue our partnership with an event that focuses on providing resources to children’s hospitals across the country,” said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. “The credit union community is about ‘people helping people,’ and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run embodies those values, while bringing awareness to the good deeds credit unions carry out for their communities every day. We thank credit unions for their involvement and support as well as all the runners, volunteers and participants who join us in supporting this charitable cause.” 

CUNA Mutual Groupand PSCUhelped underwrite title sponsorship for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. 

The SacTown Run

Separately, in Sacramento, the Ninth Annual Credit Union SacTown Run raised $207,330 for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in California and Nevada.

More than 2,000 runners participated in this year’s SacTown Run, including more than 900 credit union employees and members. The event, which started and ended at the California state capitol, featured a 10-mile race, the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Miracle Mile fun run and fitness walk, a 5K, and the “Homemade-Half Challenge” (for those interested in running the equivalent of a half-marathon). 

The event was hosted by the Sacramento Running Association and also served as the Pacific Association 10-Mile Championship.

SacTown Main

“We are once again excited to work with the Sacramento Running Association in hosting such a great event, that—thanks to a number of credit unions and businesses in California and Nevada—has raised much needed funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout both states,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “Those funds go to help kids get the care and treatments that they need.” 

The Sponsors

CO-OP Financial Services was among the major sponsors of the events. Other major sponsors included California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CU Direct, CUNA Mutual Group, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union, Patelco Credit Union, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Travis Credit Union, Wescom Credit Union, and Walmart. 

At the event, the top male runner was Nico Montanez of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. with a time of 48:36. For the fifth consecutive year, the top female runner was Jane Kibii of Auburn with a time of 55.18. Angela House, a former patient at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, once again sang the national anthem—her fourth time in as many years doing the honors.

Nancy Fast, grandmother of former CMN kid Timmy, thanked everyone for their support of CMN hospitals and for their support of her grandson during his stay at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital during the kick-off press conference two days before the event. 

SacTown Nico Montanez

SacTown race winner, men's division, Nico Montanez

SacTown Jane Kibii

SacTown race winner, women's division, Jane Kibii

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