Raising the bar on hope

Second Special Surgery race set for Saturday

After a somewhat chilly first year, the Capital Region Special Surgery Race for Hope is gearing up for an earlier date and, organizers hope, an even more successful 5K run or walk event.

The Race for Hope 2 is scheduled to step off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, from the Special Surgery offices in Slingerlands, in the second of what organizers hope will be a community tradition for years to come.

From our standpoint, because there are so many great events, you really want to get a strong foundation established in the first few years, said race director SarahNicole Mahoney. "It's only going to give us a better chance for success the next year."

That foundation will be much broader in 2010, as the number of beneficiaries is being doubled. The race will still benefit a patient fund at the St. Peter's Hospital Cancer Care Center for uninsured and underinsured patients, but organizers added another beneficiary in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region.

Capital Region Special Surgery looked at several area causes but eventually chose the Ronald McDonald House, which among other things provides a "home away from home" for the families of seriously ill children at Albany Medical Center.

"They made it impossible for us not to choose them," Mahoney said. "They had always wanted to do something like this but were always too busy, so it was just a natural fit."

Last year's race met a fundraising goal of $50,000, and organizers are not only doubling the charities, but increasing the fundraising target to $100,000. So far the effort is going well, with nearly 400 runners registered for the race already, about the total number that took part last year.

That number is sure to be bolstered by the community groups that are a part of the event.

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