Children who 'Run for Miracles' this summer and fall will not only be helping themselves, but also other kids.
"The Run for Miracles series was developed to encourage running and healthy lifestyles for kids and their families and to help raise awareness and fundraising for Children's Hospital at Erlanger," said Jenni Berz, of the Chattanooga Track Club, which is partnering with Children's Hospital at Erlanger for the series of running events.
A training session will be held at 11 a.m. July 30 at the polo field on Barnhardt Circle in Fort Oglethorpe. Boys and girls in first through sixth grades can enroll.
Children participating in the Run for Miracles will run 1 mile at a time at various track club running events this summer and fall.
The culmination of the series will be Nov. 12 at the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon and Half Marathon. Berz said at that point, children running in the series will have completed their overall 25.2 miles by the end of the day.
"Children that sign up for Junior Miracle Marathon will have a fundraising page," said Berz, adding that families can post photos and running progress on the page. "There will also be a Miracle Team of adults running in the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon to raise money for Children's Hospital at Erlanger."
Adult runners who wish to participate on the Miracle Team should also attend the training session in Fort Oglethorpe.
"This is a great way for children and their parents to be active together," said Amanda Whitaker, annual giving coordinator at Children's Hospital Foundation at Erlanger. "This is also a way for parents to get their children interested in running marathons."
Berz encourages families to register in advance at www.runformiracles.org. but people can also register at the training July 30.
Whitaker said the Run for Miracles series will help fund $1.8 million in floor-to-ceiling renovations of 49 inpatient rooms inside Children's Hospital at Erlanger. Erlanger Health System committed $1 million for another project to renovate all playrooms, nurses' stations, parents' kitchens and corridors.
"It's an effort to make it more colorful and fun," said Whitaker. "Children spend a lot of time in their rooms."
She said new furniture and yellow, blue and orange painted walls will make the environment better. She said the rooms will be utilized by both oncology and general patients.
"We treat 95 percent of local children with cancer," said Whitaker. "We treat 70 children on average in the cancer center each week and seven or eight are inpatients in the hospital."