Hailey Rath Memorial Event Aug. 21 in Beloit, Wis., raises awareness, funds for organ and tissue donation
From press release
BELOIT, Wis.—The fourth annual Hailey Rath Memorial Event will be this Saturday, Aug. 21, at The Rock in Beloit, Wis. This event has been expanding every year with gracious donations from people and businesses in the area.
Hailey’s Memorial Event honors her joy for life and her final gift as an organ and tissue donor. Today, a young teen in Michigan listens to Hailey’s heart beating in her chest, thankful for her second chance at life. Hailey’s kidneys and liver went to people in Wisconsin who were on the national United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. An additional 70 people received tissue transplants from Hailey, according to Hailey’s father, Jeff Rath.
The Rath family was overwhelmed by the impact of Hailey’s donation in previous years. They continuously dedicate their time to organizing the annual event that honors Hailey and working to promote organ donation.
“Hailey’s donation has changed so many people’s lives, especially ours,” said Jeff. “We want more people to talk about organ and tissue donation; and have them put their orange donor dot on their license and register online at www.YesIWillWisconsin.com.
“By holding this big event,” Jeff added, “everyone can remember Hailey, and how her decision changed the world. They can also learn about organ and tissue donation, and have a really good time at the run/walk and listening to great music.”
The memorial event, which started in 2007, will include a 5K race/walk, music, food and fun for all ages.
The Rock, one of Beloit’s riverside venues, will provide food specials at their outdoor patio. The event committee worked with dozens of area businesses to arrange for tents, electrical and technical needs, food specials, door prizes and chance giveaways. A bounce house, arts and crafts and face painting will also be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. for children to enjoy.
“Throughout Hailey’s experience, we were overwhelmed by the support shown by our community,” Jeff said. “Every year, the event gets bigger and better.”
The run/walk, which starts at 7:30 a.m., will begin at The Rock. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Registration forms are also available online at haileyrath5k.org. The top three race winners will receive cash prizes.
The music begins at 11 a.m. when Jamie Campbell Band will play solid classic Country vocal with the elements of modern rock. From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., the Dinosaurs will play the blues. Members of the Dinosaurs include Matt Goodwin, Dick Armstrong, Big Mac McKearn and Dave Hernandez, former members of other local bands Sleeper and Night Owl. Closing the night performances will be 29 and Holding, who will take the stage at 4:30 p.m.
Since the inception, the event has raised more than $40,000. The event proceeds will go to the University of Wisconsin Health Organ Procurement Organization Donor Education Fund, whose mission is to increase organ donation. Additional funds go to scholarships in memory of Hailey.
Businesses that wish to learn more about sponsorship opportunities may contact committee member Lori Katterhenry at (608) 751-8536.
Organ and tissue donation facts
• As of March 29, Wisconsin has a new online organ, tissue and eye donor registry at YesIWillWisconsin.com. Even people who already have a donor dot on their license should go online to legally authorize donation.
• Nearly 108,000 people in the United States are waiting for life-saving organs for transplant; more than 1,500 wait in Wisconsin.
• Donation will not interfere with funeral arrangements and there are no costs to donor families associated with organ and tissue recovery.
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