In Gresham’s First-Ever Lilac Run, 100% of Unitus’ Sponsorship Money Goes to Helping Kids

Hamilton with Unitus employee and two kids

For the first time ever, the City of Gresham hosted a 5k, 10k, and half-marathon run/walk this weekend aptly named the Lilac Run.

Unitus supported the cause with mid-race refreshments, motivational cheers, and sponsorship money to help make it happen.

The City of Gresham feels like home

It had only been a week since our Grand Opening Celebration of our new Gresham branch at 950 NW Eastman Pkwy.

“Contributing to the City of Gresham’s long, proud heritage is truly an honor,” said Steve Stapp, Unitus President and CEO. “This thriving community has a very bright future, and the Lilac Run is one example of the important work they’re doing to improve life in the community.

By the responses we’ve gotten from decades-long Unitus members, this is going to be a cherished partnership long into the future.”

How the idea of the run became real

Sasha Konell, Community Marketing Specialist at the City of Gresham, was instrumental in coordinating the run.

“Given our Mayor and City Council’s vision for the overall wellness of children and families, it is important to host events like the Gresham Lilac Run so everyone has an opportunity to be a part of such a fun and active event,” she said.

“Because this run had a 5K, 10K and half marathon course, as well as a free Little Lilac 1K course, there really was something for everyone.”

Repping Gresham, through and through

The event also served as a tribute to the proud history and promising future of the City of Gresham.

It was named after the city’s official flower, the sweet-scented lilac. Route planners specifically directed the race to feature Gresham’s natural gems, including Wy’East Way, the Spring Water Corridor, and the Gresham Butte Saddle Trail.

Fittingly, the race began and ended on the hallowed grounds of Gresham City Hall.

Always giving more

One of the most unique aspects of the run was its uncompromising philanthropy.

“Because this event was completely funded by sponsorship support thanks to our amazing community partners, all race participation fees go directly to Family of Friends Mentoring to help them elevate children and families all over Multnomah County,” added Konell.

“The work they do is so powerful because they are creating stronger family relationships, which make our community stronger today and for years to come!”

About the Author: Jacob Schnee joined Unitus as Marketing Specialist in March 2015 and transitioned to Marketing Communications Specialist in March 2017.

His experience has spanned hospitality, business development, consulting, and marketing in various industries along the east coast, west coast and in between.

When he is not developing internal and external communications for Unitus, he is engaging in recreational fitness, studying personality types and exploring the outdoors with his wife, dog, and baby.

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