(Posted Feb. 22, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For the second year in a row, Rockin’ on the Run is going virtual.
In years past, hundreds of people gathered in London for the annual fundraiser which benefits pediatric brain tumor research. The carnival atmosphere included a run/walk, children’s games and activities, and a gym full of silent auction goodies.
Organizers hope to get back to the in-person format next year but, for this year, they are taking a cautious approach in light of the ongoing pandemic.
“Our warriors’ and our families’ health is always our top priority,” said Ashley Winebrenner, Rockin’ on the Run vice president. “Some of those kiddos come with weakened immune systems. We don’t want to risk their health for our event.”
Rockin’ on the Run’s “warriors” are central Ohio children, many with ties to Madison County, who are battling or have battled brain tumors. Two new warriors are providing inspiration this year. Libby Eberhard from the Columbus area is undergoing treatment now, and Draven Hines of London beat an aggressive cancer in March of last year.
With one virtual event under their belts, Rockin’ on the Run’s organizers are ready and raring to go for 2021–Rockin’ on the Run’s 12th year.
“We were able to donate $20,000 last year which was under our goal but still way more than we expected, considering what a crazy, challenging year it was,” Winebrenner said. “We’re hoping people have gotten used to virtual-type events by now and will support us again this year.”
The event has returned to its traditional spring time slot. Walk and run participants are encouraged to create and complete their own routes between May 9 and May 15. New this year, Race Penguin, the outfit that coordinates the walk/run portion of Rockin’ on the Run, is offering an app through which participants can submit their routes and times, if they so choose. It is not required.
Organizers are busy collecting donations for online giveaways, the online silent auction, and virtual swag bags for runners and walkers.
The online giveaways are taking place periodically now through May 15 on Rockin’ on the Run’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Anyone can participate in the giveaways, whether or not they plan to enter the run/walk.
“We’re really pushing interaction on social media as a way to boost awareness,” Winebrenner said. “We try to answer every question and comment, and we love to see the support.”
Donations for the silent auction are due by May 1. All items will be posted online as they come in. Bidding runs May 1-15 with item pickup set for May 15.
The virtual swag bags feature digital coupons, discounts, and free shipping for various merchandise and services. Businesses with such offers are encouraged to contact the event’s organizers.
Registration for the walk/run is open now. To enter, make a monetary donation, donate items for the giveaways, auction or swag bags, or learn more about the event, visit www.rockinontherun.org, send email to email@example.com, or look for Rockin’ on the Run on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Virtual registration is now open. Visit Rockin’ on the Run Registration.