Annual run, picnic and auction draws record runners, breaks fundraising best

 

BREAKING THE FINISH LINE RIBBON—In first place is Josh Miller of Rockford, at 16:07,

BREAKING THE FINISH LINE RIBBON—In first place is Josh Miller of Rockford, at 16:07. photo by CLIFF HILL

“It was a banner year,” Sandy Peterson said of the 2009 Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford. In its eleventh year the annual event blew away last year’s top number of runners and walkers with an increase of about 400 to a best-ever 1,800 participating. The total amount raised for Project Parent Muscular Dystrophy was another record-breaker at $77,000.

“I’m flabbergasted,” Peterson said of the total, especially in a year when so many charities are hurting from lower donations. Volley for Mitchell the week before raised $8,000, the picnic raised $1,000, two major donors, Meijer and Wolverine contributed to the total by covering race costs, a silent auction raised $8,000 and just plain gift donations came to an amazing ten grand.

“It is a really great charity. People seem to have taken a hold of this cause and our son, and been very generous,” Peterson said. Late registration was huge with about 600 people signing up the morning of the event, and the action in town kept the organization’s 140-plus volunteers busy. “There was a lot of energy in downtown Rockford that day, that’s for sure,” Peterson commented. To date the event has donated more than $600,000 to Project Parent MD. “They are really making some great strides in finding a cure for this disease,” said Peterson. “I hope people will know that.”

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