An unprecedented racing season has resulted in a new fundraising opportunity benefiting two great organizations in Michigan focused on developing programs that benefit hydrocephalus awareness, support & research.

To coincide with the National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in September, The Brainy Day Fund and Michigan Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation have partnered together for the first ever Brainy Day Virtual Run/Walk & 8K. This virtual experience will raise money for the work both organizations are doing in Michigan to support many different programs in the state – and beyond.

“I’ve very excited for this new opportunity,” Kevin Curley, Race Director of the Virtual Run said. “This has been such a crazy year for event planning and fundraising for both organizations. Both the Brainy Day Fund and Michigan Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation rely heavily on outside funding to support their programming.”

For those who plan on participating, by registering, you will receive a Finisher Medal, Custom Running Buff, and 50% of your registration fee will be donated to the two organizations. The 8k “timed” race will include Overall Winner & Age Group awards. The Run/Walk will be for anyone who might want to run more or less than the 8k event AND potentially do additional fundraising.

“When we initially partnered with MiPHF back in April, we wanted to provide them with an alternative solution to their ‘in-person’ walk originally planned for September 12, ” Curley mentioned. “When folks register for this virtual experience, they can choose if they want to do additional fundraising for a specific partner charity – in this case, The Brainy Day Fund or MiPHF.”

With no sponsors to offset race costs, the virtual run will cost $45, but that does include a $20 donation to be split between both organizations.

For The Brainy Day Fund, their annual Brainy Day Trail Run is the only fundraising event they coordinate throughout the year. Thanks to sponsors like Subaru of Muskegon, Health Pointe, and Clarity Realty, their race costs are paid for and the runners’ registration fees directly support the Fund’s annual programs. This year, with the impact COVID-19 is having on mass events, the Trail Run will be reduced in size which will greatly impact the funds they are able to raise. In 2019, their largest event in 13 years, they raised over $10,000 from the race. This year, they’re expected to raise closer to $5,000. Adding the Virtual Run and giving folks the ability to do additional fundraising will hopefully close the gap in their projected fundraising goals for 2020. Next year, the Fund celebrates 15 years of the race.

“We have a lot of great things planned for next year for the actual in-person race, but we’re committing to this annual virtual experience even if when we’re able to bring back our regular in-person racing experience,” Curley noted. “The virtual run allows us to increase our visibility across the region – potentially to include national and international participants.”

Curley added that hydrocephalus fundraising is very much needed, but not something you hear about every day. Hydrocephalus affects approximately 1 million Americans, in every stage of life, from infants to the elderly and from every socioeconomic background. One out of every 770 babies will develop hydrocephalus, making it as common as Down’s syndrome and more common than spina bifida or brain tumors. Currently there is no cure for hydrocephalus.