‘Tis the season of giving, so why not raise money for your favorite charity or nonprofit organization? On Feb 14-16, 2020, the 19th annual Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend will commence. The weekend of running events gives the Birmingham community the chance to come together and raise money for a charity of their choosing.
So, lace up your running shoes and keep on reading for everything you need to know about getting your organization involved in the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend.
The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is Alabama’s Premier Running Weekend
Proceeds from the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend benefit the Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs. Located in Birmingham, the center aids children from throughout central Alabama with a wide variety of special needs. These needs include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, rare genetic disorders, and children without a diagnosis who think the Bell Center can benefit them.
The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is so important to The Bell Center. First, it provides a venue for our BellRunners program. The weekend also showcases the beautiful children of TBC and gives their families an enormous sense of community. And the financial support from the weekend is substantial and so important to us in continuing to provide services to more and more children who need us.Jeannie Colquett, Executive Director of The Bell Center
All race proceeds benefit the Bell Center, and anyone can donate to the Bell Center team on their GoFundMe page. There is also still time to sign up to be a BellRunner for the Bell Center and support one of the center’s children.
However, if you are connected to a special charity or nonprofit, you can become involved and raise money!
Here’s why you should use the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend to raise money for your organization in 2020.
1. The Mercedes Benz Marathon Weekend makes it easy to get involved
If you’ve ever wanted to host a charity race or event in the past and didn’t know where to start, the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is a great place to gain traction and money without the stress of having to organize your own event.
The event also gives the unique opportunity to charities and nonprofits to mingle and make connections with other organizations.
We’re encouraging anyone and everyone to use our event as a free fundraising venue for a cause near and dear to them. Our team will do all the work while the charity group concentrates on recruiting friends and family to run or walk any of our events. The charity also sets their own fundraising goals from $1 to $100 or more per completed mile, so the sky is the limit for their fundraising with no operation costs for the charity.Valerie McLean Cuddy, Race Chairman
Oh, and the best part? Organizations participating in the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend get to keep all of the money that they raise outside of a small service fee charged by the fundraising platform, GoFundMe Charity.
2. The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend has exciting events and runners
The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is jam-packed with events, giving your organization a weekend of ways to earn money for a good cause.
On Friday and Saturday, there’s a Race Expo with more than 40 vendors and even a Good People Brewing Company beer garden. The Race Expo is also where participants pick up their race packets. The Race Expo is sponsored by UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics.
The weekend races kick off on Saturday with the Regions Superhero 5K, the Bell Center EIP Children’s Run and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon.
At the Regions Superhero 5K, participants can be a Superhero for their own charity. Plus, the distance is only 3.1 miles, making it an easy and fun event for runners who aren’t quite ready to run a half or full marathon.
On Sunday, events include a Half-Marathon, Full Marathon, Marathon Relay, Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ Post-Race Block Party and an Awards Ceremony.
If you’re running the Half Marathon or Full Marathon and register before Dec. 31, you’ll get your race bib personalized with your first name. Registration prices also increase at midnight on December 31st.
There are also exciting runners coming in from all across the globe.
“The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend brings in high-performance, professional athletes from all over as a part of our Elite Runner athlete program,” Putman said.
Participants have yet to be determined, but in previous years runners have come from Ethiopia, Great Britan, France, Mexico and all across America.
3. The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is sensory inclusive
The Mercedes Benz Marathon Weekend has also teamed up with local nonprofit Kulture City to make their weekend of events sensory inclusive.
The sensory inclusive event will provide tools and/or spaces for those with sensory needs to feel comfortable and safe. Individuals with sensory needs could include those with autism, PTSD, early-onset dementia and types of sensory processing issues.
“The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is the first marathon to be sensory inclusive in the state of Alabama and the second inclusive marathon in the United States,” said Uma Srivastava, COO at Kulture City.
To help individuals at large events like the Mercedez-Benz Marathon Weekend, Kulture City provides sensory bags and a S.A.V.E. vehicle.
At request, marathon-goers can obtain a sensory bag with tools to help calm the user. These tools include sensory headphones, a weighted lap pad, a Kulture City VIP access pass, a Feeling Zones thermometer and fidget tools.
The S.A.V.E. vehicle is a mobile sensory room that serves as a quiet, calming space for those who might be overstimulated by the crowds and noises at the marathon.
“We’re going to be out there all weekend, so we really encourage families and individuals with sensory needs to come out,” Srivastava said. “So please come join, celebrate and know that we have items in place to ensure that you have a memorable experience.”
Want to get your charity or nonprofit raising funds? Click here to sign up and have your organization become a part of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon weekend!
Is there a local organization that we should cover? Reach out to us @bhamnow on social and let us know!