What has thousands of feet, a heart the size of Carrboro, and is over 15 miles long?
The 2015 Tour de Carrboro, which generated a record $50,000 for Cardinal Track Club Community Partners. On March 21, the Cardinal Track Club presented it’s Community Partners with the record donation, bringing the tally Cardinal has donated since 2005 to a total of nearly $350,000 in charitable contributions.
The 2015 funds, raised by the Tour de Carrboro three-race series, went directly to six non-profit organizations in Orange County: Table, Inc., Arc of the Triangle, The Optimist Club, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, UNC’s Get Real & Heel, and Carrboro Family Garden, a recent press release stated.
The Cardinal Track Club is a Carrboro / Chapel Hill-based organization dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of running at all levels.
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“We gave $45,000 three years in a row (prior to this), and were really happy and proud about that,” Tour de Carrboro race director Kristen Pate said, “so it was a big jump to hit $50,000. I would be more than happy to hit $50,000 again, but we wouldn’t want that number to go down.”
“Cardinal Track Club works with the Community Partners to put on the annual Tour de Carrboro running race series,” the release added, “which is comprised of the Four on the Fourth, the Carrboro 10K, and the Gallop and Gorge 8K.
“The Partners provide the entire race and pre-race volunteer crew, who work alongside with the support of the Carrboro Police Department, Public Works, and the race sponsors to make the Tour de Carrboro series a well-oiled machine and sought after event (race) trio.”
Aiding in the staging of the race series, which enters its 12th year in 2016, are sponsors including UNC Therapy Services, Fleet Feet Sports Carrboro, and Open Eye Café. Pate said each of the sponsors provide considerable money, event space, and goods allowing Cardinal to net more funds for their Partners. Thus, almost all of a $30 single-race registration or a $75 three-race registration goes straight to local community projects.
Table Executive Director Ashton Chatham Tippins reported that Cardinal Track Club contributions helped to provide 1,000 bags of healthy food to local children in 2015, the release said.
UNC Get Real & Heel Cancer Support Program coordinator Kelly Hermanson said that CTC funds will help purchase new exercise equipment for their cancer survivors and help support free treatment recovery programs.
Among the Optimist Club programs supported by Cardinal funding, Optimist treasurer / secretary Carolyn Mason said the “Shop with a Cop” program, pairing children with local law enforcement officer to help with holiday shopping, is both fun and worthwhile for both the children and officers.
The Carrboro Family Garden funding helped the agency remain accessible to diverse families in our community. The Garden will continue to supply space, resources & education for families to garden organically.
“The Arc uses all of the funds from Cardinal Track Club to fund the vital services provided to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities living in Orange and neighboring counties Durham and Wake,” the release said.
Pate said almost all of the funds generated by Cardinal go to the donation.
“We save very little going into the next year,” she explained. “It’s just enough to get people registered for the races. It’s very little: we try to give away as much as possible.”
Pate said there are no plans to “fix” something that’s working so well for Cardinal, for local runners, and for the community.
“It will be the same course for every race this year, and we’re keeping the same benefactors,” she said, “so it will be a good year to focus on introducing new runners to the Tour de Carrboro.”
“We’d like to branch out with our marketing a little bit and get new runners to try the races,” she said. “We already get a lot of return racers, so if we can get a new crop of racers this year, it will be amazing.”
Pate said Cardinal hasn’t ruled out adding new races to its calendar, but they would be over and above the Carrboro-based Tour.
“We’re just starting to think about that,” she said. “It wouldn’t be another race in the Tour de Carrboro, but we do have fun talking about adding another race to our calendar. We’ve talked about either an early fall or maybe a spring race. From Thanksgiving until the Fourth of July (is a long time for runners to wait), so we’ve talked about putting something on in March. This is far from definite. We’ve sort of dreamed of putting on a one-mile race, but it wouldn’t be this year.”
Pate said the notion might be to honor the Franklin Street Mile, one of the earliest races sponsored by Cardinal Track Club and its original founders Bobby Biles and Dick Forbis.
Cardinal Track Club’s past and present charitable beneficiaries
ARC of the Triangle; Carolina Development Fund; Carolina Outreach; Centro Latino; Club Nova; Get Real & Heel Breast Cancer Program; Optimists Club of Chapel Hill; Orange Cardiovascular Fund; Orange County Rape Crisis Center; Table; N.C. Wellness Medical Fitness Scholarship.
Le Tour de Carrboro 2016
Four on the Fourth four-miler, Monday, July 4
Carrboro 10K, Saturday, Oct. 1
Gallop and Gorge 8K, Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24
Cardinal Track Club’s
past and present charitable beneficiaries
ARC of the Triangle
Carolina Development Fund
Get Real & Heel Breast Cancer Program
Optimists Club of Chapel Hill
Orange Cardiovascular Fund
Orange County Rape Crisis Center
UNC Wellness Medical Fitness Scholarship