NEWS

Erika Kate Foundation seeks to be Quad Cities Marathon’s largest organization

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Erika Kate Foundation seeks to be Quad Cities Marathon’s largest organization

Muscatine based organization vying for 2nd year as top organization

The Erika Kate Foundation (EKF) is hoping to make 2010 their second year as the Quad Cities Marathon’s largest participating organization on September 26th, 2010. Individuals registered for the race event (marathon, half marathon, marathon relay and 5K) can also register on erikakate.org to be a member of Team EKF, receive a free t-shirt for the event and help raise awareness of the organization. The mission of the Erika Kate Foundation is to help ease the emotional, spiritual, and financial burdens borne by parents of children with life threatening heart disease.

Last year EKF had approximately 90 runners in order to achieve the largest organization status. To date, the organization has met last year’s numbers and hopes to grow Team EKF in the remaining weeks. Team EKF consists of runners or walkers who will wear the EKF logo while participating in the races to help raise awareness or funds for the organization. Team EKF will also be represented by a tent in the post race area for other race participants to come and learn about EKF, purchase EKF logo items, etc. Already, EKF supporters ages 5 to 70 will participate in the various race lengths representing Team EKF.  

“As an organization, we chose to participate in the Quad Cities Marathon because we are runners ourselves and feel it is a good opportunity to celebrate the health of our supporters while raising awareness for our mission, “states EKF Founder Rich Maynard. “Although we are a national assistance program, we know that many people right here in the Quad Cities are impacted by a child suffering from a life threatening heart illness. We want them to know that we are here to help.”

While the QCM is a major event for the organization, EKF has also recently reached other milestones namely helping over 130 families affected by life threatening heart illness and in the process donating over $100,000.

Maynard states, “We seem to be entering an important phase of our development as an organization. Our vision has always been to create a sustainable national assistance program for cardiac families in need of short term support while their child is facing a medical crisis. We’ve determined that the need for this assistance program is widespread and underserved. We think the next 12 months will be pivotal in determining whether we can raise the resources to serve the needs well and take another step toward our overall objective.”  

To keep growing the list of families they can help, EKF has increased recent awareness efforts. Additional awareness efforts include this summer’s “6 Degrees of EKF” campaign which encourages EKF supporters to reach out to six people through email, Facebook, etc to encourage them to support EKF by furthering the awareness or signing up for a monthly donation. The release this week of a new EKF video will aid supporters in sharing the message of EKF. The video can be viewed on erikakate.org, Vimeo or Youtube.

“It’s going to take a massive group effort to further our growth on a national level.  We would like nothing more than to see people who have been impacted in some way by a child with heart disease rise up and join our efforts to stand in the gap on behalf of parents in the midst of a heart related medical crisis with their young child.

There’s so much stress on parents and families in many of these situations.  It’s extremely comforting for them to know there’s an organization who’s ‘got their back’ when it seems their world is falling a part. Because of the assistance provided by EKF, parents can spend more time focusing on what matters most:  their sick child”, shares Maynard.

Team EKF is sponsored by the Muscatine Medical-Surgical Associates, Riverbend Anesthesia, Country Bank, Country Financial – John Waugh, Meminger Metal Finishing, Doran & Ward, Ford & Maynard, Newton Running with memorial sponsorships given in the names of Logan Stephen Johnson and Theodore Greyson Grimes.

To join Team EKF or learn more about the Erika Kate Foundation, visit erikakate.org or visit the Erika Kate Foundation page on Facebook.