Hundreds of runners stripped down to the legally bare essentials in Minneapolis today and briefly transformed the downtown commercial center of Minneapolis into a street party.
Cupid’s Undie Run is a charity fundraising event for the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), the world’s largest non-government organization dedicated to ending Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research. Currently, there is no cure for NF and there are frighteningly few treatment options.
I was hearing about this Cupid’s Undie Run Minneapolis since arriving in the city on Thursday, Feb 13. This week is the first time I heard about the annual run that took place in dozens of cities on Saturday, February 15, 2014.
What started as an annual event in Washington, D.C. in 2010, spread to four other cities in 2012. Another 11 cities around the USA participated in 2013 and Cupid’s Undie Run even went international with Sydney, Australia. This year another nine U.S. cities organized Cupid’s Undie Runs along with Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia. The event raised $2 million prior to this year and 2014 Runs are estimated to raise $4 million.
Minneapolis in Snow Motion
Minnesotans are one tough breed of people when it comes to dealing with the cold. The news this morning stated the temperature has dropped below 0°F on 45 days this winter season in Minneapolis. This has been the coldest winter in more than 30 years.
The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis weather display showed the outside temperature was 1°F at 9:30am when I headed outside walking the streets of Minneapolis for about 3 hours. My body was chilled from the cold even while dressed in my parka, head scarf, neck scarf and long underwear under my jeans.
Fortunately, the temperature rose to about 19°F by the 2:00pm Cupid’s Undie Run start time for the one mile run along Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis and then another mile to get back to the starting line.
Unfortunately, about two inches of snow had fallen in the previous three hours.
I figured all the snow would turn the Minneapolis Cupid’s Undie Run into Cupid’s Undie Walk.
Amazing to me was how quickly the sidewalks were cleared by the city workers.
Snow sweeper clearing sidewalk behind Mary Tyler Moore statue on Nicollet Mall in front of Macy’s.
Freezin’ for a Reason in Minneapolis
Moments after snapping the photo, I heard a whoop and turned around to see the Cupid’s Undie runners approaching.
Minneapolis news reported these runners raised $46,000 with today’s event.
A metaphorical tip of my hat to these hardy Minneapolis athletes. Truth be told, I filmed the event bundled up in my hooded parka with nearly all my skin well covered.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the world’s largest non-government organization dedicated to ending Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research. NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, causing blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. Currently, there is no cure for NF and there are frighteningly few treatment options. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is a Charity Navigator 4-Star charity that prides itself on efficiency, spending 82.4% of its revenue on program expenses and less than 8% on administrative costs.
NF affects roughly 1:3,000 births in the U.S. and is in desperate need of new discovery, which is why 100% of funds raised through Cupid’s Undie Run go directly to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
The Foundation’s mission is to advance peer-reviewed research to develop treatments and cures for NF; support persons with NF and their families by making thorough and accurate information readily available; to assist in developing clinical centers and best practices to improve access to quality healthcare for those who live with NF; and expand public awareness of NF to improve diagnoses, increase understanding of the challenges that NF presents, and encourage support for NF research.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
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