Erica Erland, Clark Public Utilities
Clark Public Utilities’ Inaugural Race for Warmth Draws 600, Raises $19,000 for Operation Warm Heart
VANCOUVER, WA – February 10, 2015 – Produced by Clark Public Utilities to benefit Operation Warm Heart, the first annual Race for Warmth was held February 8, 2015 and raised about $19,000 for the donor-funded heating assistance program.
The timed 10k run and 5k run/walk took nearly 600 participants on a route through the historic Fort Vancouver and along the Columbia River.
Local businesses helped to offset event costs to maximize net proceeds for the cause. Main partner Area Heating & Cooling hosted a warming tent and water station, New Tradition Homes helped to provide the popular race t-shirts, Columbia Credit Union donated dozens of prizes, and Burgerville raised more than $3,000 through in-store donations and proceeds of warm beverage sales.
“These local businesses blew us away with their generosity and enthusiasm,” said Maxie Lofton, communications coordinator at Clark Public Utilities. “Our event partners plus the hundreds of runners and walkers made it a very festive and fun way to raise money for a cause all of us at the utility know is so important in our community.”
The morning began with a free kids run with more than 40 kids racing behind Butch, the WSU Vancouver mascot, followed by a high-energy Zumba warm-up led by Northwest Personal Training. Snacks were provided by Chuck’s Produce and coffee and cocoa was donated by Brewed 360. An after party hosted by Dirty Hands Brewery had racers lined up around the block for a free pint and pretzel.
“This kind of event has been successful for other public utilities as a way to bring the community together and support a good cause,” said Lofton. “Our customers are our owners so everything we do is designed to benefit this community where we live and make it a better place. After the incredible turn-out and support from local businesses, we’re definitely making the Race for Warmth an annual event.”
About Operation Warm Heart
Since its creation in 1985, Operation Warm Heart has provided nearly $2.4 million to about 11,000 customers in financial crisis. The donor-funded program helps families in need who may not qualify for other government programs. For 30 years, Clark Public Utilities customers and employees have generously funded Operation Warm Heart. Donations can be made year-round at any Clark Public Utilities location or by calling 360-992-3000.