With less than one month until the 41st Annual Canal Run, the planning committee would like to recognize the event’s amazing sponsors. The amount of time, money and products donated grows every year. Canal Run has four major sponsors; UP Health Portage, Finlandia University, FirstMerit Bank and the Keweenaw Co-op. Each of these major sponsors donates an enormous amount of man hours to the race.
Each major sponsor must offer a minimum of 12 volunteers for the race, and at least one race committee member. Committee members work year-round planning, organizing, recruiting and fundraising. As the event grows, so does its needs. With participant numbers gaining every year, the amount of food, drinks, security, porta-potties must also increase every year. Canal Run counts on their sponsors to keep up with that growth.
“We go through massive amounts of Powerade, string cheese, chocolate milk, energy gel, fresh fruit, recovery drinks, you name it,” said race committee member Mary Myers. “Every year we need to order more everything.”
A huge donation from Pat’s Foods supplies fresh fruit and other food items for the food tent. This year, racers will find green and red grapes, mini tangerines, along with many cases of organic bananas, donated by the Keweenaw Co-op.
A newer sponsor, Organic Valley, will again supply hundreds of recovery protein drinks and two kinds of cheese sticks. Jilbert’s Dairy of Marquette has donated 400 pints of chocolate milk, to help runners recover. FirstMerit Bank is bringing back the popsicle truck and has donated over a thousand icy treats to keep racers cool and spectators happy.
Donations of time and expertise is also a huge win for Canal Run. More than 100 volunteers are needed to make the event happen. Other agencies like Superior Search and Rescue donate their services and keep the communication lines open on the course, as much of it is without cell phone service. The group uses HAM radios to keep the volunteers and committee members in contact with law enforcement and medical at all times.
The Canal Run planning committee would like to graciously thank this year’s sponsors for their continued generosity. They are listed here.
This story was produced by Canal Run committee member Mary Myers, who can be reached via e-mail, email@example.com.