The Williams Route 66 Marathon, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, is proud to add two new charities to its growing charity portfolio. Both the ALS Association, Oklahoma Chapter and the Route 66 Experience Museum will now benefit from the event’s Charity Challenge.
The Charity Challenge allows runners to participate in the Williams Route 66 Marathon without paying race registration, but instead by raising money for one of the six charities the race benefits. Last year, the Williams Route 66 Marathon raised over $50,000 for local charities.
“Tulsa has hosted our race for the past twelve years, and our Charity Challenge allows us to say ‘thank you!’ to the community by giving back,” says Assistant Executive Director Kim Hann. “We have six partner organizations that are strong supporters of our event, and we’re glad to fundraise for them.“
The ALS Association recently opened their Oklahoma Chapter, thanks to money raised in the 2011 social media phenomenon, the Ice Bucket Challenge. In fact, the Williams Route 66 Marathon staff participated in the challenge and asked other races’ staff members across the nation to do the same.
“At the end of our ice bucket video, we challenged other Marathons, and it started a chain reaction of race directors raising money and awareness for ALS,” says Hann.
From there, a partnership was born. The ALS Association has the mission to provide compassionate care and support to those with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to empower them to live fuller lives. This is the only medical support charity that will be benefited in the 2017 Charity Challenge.
The other charity addition for the 2017 race is the Route 66 Experience Museum. Because of their mission to help expand awareness and history of Route 66 in Oklahoma, this partnership is a perfect fit for the Williams Route 66 Marathon.
“The Williams Route 66 Marathon brings people from all over the world into Tulsa, promoting Route 66,” says Hann. “By partnering with the Experience Museum, we will be able to escalate Route 66 tourism even more.”.route66marathon.com.
This organization is working to develop a state-of-the-art museum that will open in 2018 with a drive in, two restaurants, event rental space and interactive pieces that will exhibit the history of Route 66.
"The Alliance is committed to generating awareness of the Mother Road and driving cultural tourism throughout our community through the creation of a first-class interpretive center,” says Ken Busby, executive director of the Route 66 Alliance. “What better way to showcase our efforts than by participating in the Williams Route 66 Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, which brings national and international attention to our community?"
The six charities that will benefit from the 2017 Williams Route 66 Marathon are:
· Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
· Folds of Honor Foundation
· Tulsa Area United Way
· Tulsa Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
· ALS Association, Oklahoma Chapter
· Route 66 Experience Museum
About the Williams Route 66 Marathon
The Williams Route 66 Marathon, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, brings thousands of people together in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from across the world, including all 50 states and over 20 countries. The Marathon events are held annually on the last weekend before Thanksgiving. Race events span across the weekend and include a marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, 5K, Mascot Dash, 1-mile fun run, the self proclaimed “World’s Shortest Ultra “ and the largest health and fitness expo in northeastern Oklahoma. The 12th annual Williams Route 66 Marathon weekend will begin on November 17 and run through November 19. To learn more about the events, sponsoring, training or volunteering, please visit www.route66marathon.com.