Sports Spectacular and Color Dash provide fun, aid sick kids – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The Democrat and Chronicle hosted its second annual Kids Sports Spectacular on Aug. 6, this year teaming up with IACKids to help raise money to support local families with sick children.
The Kids Sports Spectacular & IACKids Color Dash brought approximately 700 people to Total Sports Experience in Gates, according to organizers. For 4 ½ hours, local kids participated in a variety of sports and recreational activities, free of charge.
In addition, several attendees registered for the 3K color run around the facility. The cost of registration was $30, the entirety of which will serve as a donation to IACKids.
Tara Dolan is one of several community members to bring their child out to participate. She said that she first heard about the event on Facebook and thought that it would be a great way to expend some energy while also supporting community organizations.
“It’s a great cause, it’s lots of fun, and who doesn’t want to get their kids covered in chalk,” said Dolan, motioning to her daughter, Addyson, who was covered in blue.
Fidelis Care and D&C Digital teamed up for the event on Sunday.
Jeff DiVereonica/staff photographer
Founded in 2012 by community business owners and employees, the organization works to provide monetary support to the families of sick children, allowing parents to work less time so that they can be at a child’s bedside.
Neil Butera, one of five co-founders, said that the organization was founded to honor a friend whose son was sick and eventually died.
“We step in to help pay the bills that the income would have paid for,” Butera said. “We’ve been doing this for the past five years and we’ve raised more than a million dollars since that time, and we’ve helped well over 150 families.”
While both the sports spectacular and the color dash have taken place in previous years, this was the first time they were held together.
Jenna Knauf, an IACKids board member, said that the organization partnered with the Democrat and Chronicle as a mutually beneficial way to help draw a large turnout for the day.
“When I heard about the Kids Sports Spectacular and how we both really wanted to ensure that we had good attendance, we decided to merge the two events,” said Knauf. “We do a gala in March, but we all have families of our own, and we really wanted something that the kids could be a part of, so for them to be able to run for charity was just a huge deal.”
Knauf said that they expect the day to have brought in between $5,000 and $10,000 for IACKids, and that they hope that the partnership continues in years to come.
“When you walk around, the sun is shining, the kids are covered in color; they’re running, laughing, having a great time. For me, there’s no better day in the summer,” she said.