Annual Run For A Wish Race Coming Soon
Las Vegas Business Press
by Caitlan McGarry
January 25, 2011
The Make-A-Wish Foundation's mission is well-known: to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening or terminal illnesses. As a nonprofit organization, the foundation's mission would be impossible to fulfill without fundraising, which is where former KSNV-TV, Channel 3 anchor and current 10e Public Relations owner Kendall Tenney stepped in to help.
In 2001, Tenney was on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada's board of directors when the organization was brainstorming ideas for a marquee event that would bring the community together. Other nonprofit groups operate 5-kilometer races to raise awareness and cash, and Make-A-Wish decided to do the same. With Tenney's name attached to the project, the annual Run For A Wish race was born.
"Kendall's heart is very much in the Make-A-Wish Foundation," said Karen Iglesias, Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada's executive director. "He connects with our children and our families on a very special level. He's dedicated much of his time and energy to granting wishes, raising funds and being a spokesman for the organization for the past 10 years."
Run For A Wish, now in its 10th year, has grown exponentially. The first race drew about 400 people to Summerlin; this year, 6,000 to 7,000 runners are expected to race at Town Square on Feb. 5. Advance registration is $20 for teams and $25 for individuals. Race-day registration is $40.
This year, Make-A-Wish hopes to raise $275,000 in sponsorships and race registrations. Last year, the organization reached $250,000. Iglesias said 83 percent of the money raised will go toward granting wishes, like when a Jack, a little boy with cancer, was able to transform into Spider-Man for a day or when a terminally ill little girl named Wendy was able to meet "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens before dying.
"That family will always be secure in the knowledge that they were able to grant their daughter's one true wish," Iglesias said.
This year, Strip headliner Marie Osmond is lending her name to the cause. Osmond raises money for children's hospitals nationwide with her own charity, the Children's Miracle Network, but told Tenney she wanted to help local children, too.
"She called me out of the blue, which was the coolest thing ever, and said she wanted to help," Tenney said. "She'll be out there; she'll be walking with everybody. She's going to be part of this; it's not just a one-year thing."
Run For A Wish isn't just for hard-core runners; people who want to walk a mile through the Town Square shops will be able to do so. And entertainment will be provided for residents who just want to enjoy the atmosphere.
"The DJ for Terry Fator is going to come out and perform, getting people pumped up," Tenney said. "We have dancers, high school bands, local entertainers, mimes and clowns. It has turned into a giant party."
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will again be the event's grand marshal, kicking off the race at 9 a.m. Feb. 5. Visit www.runforawish.org to register.
Contact reporter Caitlin McGarry at email@example.com or 702-387-5273.