WASHINGTON (2/15/12)--Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) will join 158 other members of the U.S. Congress and District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray as honorary chairs on this year's Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, the annual 10 mile run and 5k run/walk event that raises funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Kicking off the 2011 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney tells attendees at a press conference held at Washington Children's Hospital that the credit union movement is the third largest corporate sponsor of CMNHospitals, following only WalMart and Costco. The Cherry Blossom run is one of the events that make this success possible, Cheney said, noting that it has raised more than $5 million in the 10 years credit unions have sponsored the race. (CUNA photo)
Congressional FCU President/CEO Charles Mallon in a release said, "The response from the 162 members of Congress and Mayor Gray is outstanding and very helpful to the collaborative efforts of credit unions to raise funds for hospitalized children." Mallon serves on the board of the race's title sponsor, Credit Union Miracle Day Inc. Credit Union Miracle Day Inc. has raised millions for the Children's Miracle Network in its 11 years of race sponsorship, and the group is slated to sponsor the race through 2016.
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the two credit unions that serve members and employees of the House and Senate, Congressional FCU and Senate FCU, also support a separate "Capitol Hill Competition," a race-within-a-race for runners from congressional offices.
CUNA staff also volunteer at the race bag check tent, and this will be the 11th straight year that CUNA has worked in support of credit union involvement in the race.
The 40th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom run will take place on April 1. This year's event takes place on the second weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a five-week celebration of sporting and cultural events that commemorates the blossoming of the trees donated to the U.S. by Japan in the early 20th century.
The race staging area will be on the Washington Monument grounds, and the course will trace its traditional route past Washington's cherry blossom trees. The race headquarters hotel is located at the Westin Washington D.C. City Center Hotel.
Around 30,000 runners applied for spots in last year's race. A lottery for entry slots in this year's race took place in December. Runners who raised $500 or more for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals via Credit Unions for Kids, the official event charity, were given guaranteed spots on the starting line.