Many years ago, a team was put together to support affordable housing in the Hood to Coast Relay, the largest relay race in the world. 25 years later, “Running for Shelter” ran one last team the 200 miles down the mountain and to the Pacific Ocean – this year to support National Church Residences and the Horizon Housing Foundation. This team raised $100,000 in 2022 and a total of $1 Million over the history of running this race. Team members from the affordable housing field included Michelle Norris – National Church Residences, Kimberlee Cornett – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dana Bourland – JPB Foundation, Paul Cummings – National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT), Lowel Krueger – Yakima Housing Authority, Neal Drumm – Silicon Valley Bank, and Chris Hite (fundraising co-chair) – Sugar Creek Capital.
National Church Residences (Columbus, OH) was a co-beneficiary this year and Michelle Norris also ran on the team and stated, “On behalf of National Church Residences, I am so grateful to the ‘Running for Shelter’ team for the support it has provided to several of our programs over the years. Congratulations to all for reaching the $1 million philanthropic goal on behalf of so many non-profit housing organizations! Well done. This relay exemplifies the word “teamwork” like nothing else I have experienced. Thank you team!”
This relay race in Oregon, deemed the “Mother of all Relays” starts at 6,000 feet up Mt. Hood, runs through downtown Portland, and then over the coastal range out to the City of Seaside on the Pacific Ocean. The teams keep a baton moving – straight through the night – with each runner running three legs with an average distance of 5/6 miles each so 15/18 miles total over 24 hours. Running for Shelter finished the race averaging just over 8 minute miles and finishing 121st overall out of over 1,000 finishing teams.
“We started doing this relay with a purpose and I am proud to have been part of this effort for all of these years. I have had the privilege to run with some of the most committed, passionate, and generous people I know and together we have made a big difference for lower income residents in the homes we help finance. A big shout out to all of the donors, especially the legacy donors – Enterprise, Cinnaire, NEF, and NAHT – as you helped push us over the top! There are lots of ways that groups can raise money for nonprofit organizations, we have just done it through running this relay.” said NAHT’s Paul Cummings.
Mark McDaniel, one of the early participants and longtime donor stated, “Amazing!! Who would have thought over 1M dollars over all these years. When one is passionate about shelter for people in need it makes this all possible. When Chris Cox and I ran several times in this race in the early days knowing what we were running for made those really tough parts of this race easier, like my Michigan Mile. We at Cinnaire tip our hat to Enterprise for starting this and allowing us to personally and corporately participate. Wonderful memorable experiences Paul. Thanks to you and Dan for carrying the torch on this for so many years.”
Major donors this year included Enterprise, Bellwether, Cinnaire, and NEF. The total list of donors is impressive and also included NAHT, Bocarsly Emden, Chase, Chesapeake Community Advisors, DOZ, Holland & Knight, Huntington National Bank, Lument, National Church Residences, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Sugar Creek Capital.