Christmas at the Cotton On Group will be all the more special this year with the knowledge the festive season has been made brighter for children as a result of the Group’s Run Australia events.
This year, the event series exceeded $1 million raised for the first time in its six year history,raising $1.19 million to help improve health facilities for young people in regional Australia.
Over 29,000 people participated in eight events across six cities, with events staged in Geelong, Newcastle, Ballarat and Wollongong as well as inaugural events in Townsville and the Sunshine Coast Participants selected to walk or run a 6km or 12km course in each host town - all for a very good cause.
National Projects Manager, Jim Cail, says the record breaking results demonstrate Run Australia’s growing following as it continues its expansion into new locations around the country.
“This year we’ve seen an average increase of 30 percent in participation rates, bolstered by our two new cities and the addition of our new Cotton On KIDS runs in Ballarat and Geelong,” he says.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the result and very thankful to each of the regional communities we partnered with for once again coming out in force to support their local cause.”
The record breaking total will support and improve a range of children’s health services throughout Australia including; the redevelopment of the Children’s Ward at Ballarat Hospital and Townsville Hospital, growing child development services on the Sunshine Coast and the redevelopment of the Adolescent Ward at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.
Barwon Health Foundation Executive Director Jill Moodie says the funds raised from this year’s Run Geelong will help complete the redevelopment of the Special Care Nursery at Geelong Hospital.
“We have an amazing partnership with Run Geelong which has seen us achieve some amazing things, having already completed the Cotton On Foundation Children’s Ward. The Special Care Nursery is our next vital project, ensuring families and babies in our region receive the specialised care they need in a more supportive environment,” Ms Moodie says.
Mr Cail believes the growing success of the series is due to its unique model, which allows 100 percent of all registrations to go directly towards each region’s nominated project.
“The resources provided by the Cotton On Group and the support of our partners and sponsors ensure all the costs of staging the events are covered. This is a really unique proposition and means that our participants have an amazing platform to make a tangible difference in their own community.”
While there are no new sites planned for 2015, the Run Australia team continues to look for the region where the series will head next. The popularity of the inaugural 1km Cotton On KIDS Children’s Runs in Geelong and Ballarat however, will see these runs extend to all six cities next year.
For more information on Run Australia, click here.