ROCKFORD — The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) and Fleet Feet Rockford announced Thursday that participation in the 2018 Dasher Dash 5K grew by 35 percent and raised more than $28,000 in its second year.
Forty-four percent of participants were from Rockford, while the event also drew runners from Loves Park, Beloit, Poplar Grove, Belvidere, and as far as St. Charles, Milwaukee, DeKalb and Chicago. Sixty-two percent of runners were female, 21 percent were under the age of 18.
Net proceeds totaled $28,374.60 and have been donated to the RACVB Charitable Foundation, which helps fund Stroll on State.
“It’s really important to RACVB that Stroll on State remains a free event and open to all. We’re so grateful to the many sponsors and of course the runners who have made this donation possible; we will steward it well and return it back to the community in the form of more family friendly fun,” said Foundation Board Chair Bobbie Holzwarth.
In presenting the proceeds to the foundation, Dasher Dash organizers thanked the run’s presenting sponsor, SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health, and all event sponsors and supporters.
“Their support and commitment to this event was integral to the success in 2018 and certainly will be in future years,” RACVB President/CEO John Groh said. “And, of course, the team at Fleet Feet Rockford does such a good job managing all aspects of the run for us, we couldn’t do it without them.”
Groh added: “Last year, together with our partners and friends at Fleet Feet Rockford, we started with a vision of a run that would further enhance Stroll on State and help runners explore a part of our city that perhaps they weren’t already familiar with.
“Runners tell us they love the course because it helps them discover the city in a new way and also because of the fun features along the way like live music and “We’re thrilled with how quickly Dasher Dash has grown and how well it is supported by not only runners but also the corporate community.”
SwedishAmerican President and CEO Dr. Michael Born was on hand Wednesday and called the Dasher Dash one of the must successful races in the region.
“SwedishAmerican is extremely proud to have served as the Premier Sponsor for the 2018 Dasher Dash 5K,” Born said. “With more than 1,200 runners last year, the kick-off event to Stroll on State will no doubt continue to grow. We’d like to thank and congratulate our friends at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and at Fleet Feet for coordinating such a well-organized race. SwedishAmerican is indeed honored to sponsor this elite community event.” R.