Racing for United Way

In searching through United Way Web sites, I have come across a lot of unique fundraisers, including themed races. A few of my favorites include: “The Superhero Sprint,” “Living Color Living United 5K,” and “What Floats Your Cardboard Boat Race.” Not only do these races sound fun, but they’re also raising money for a good cause!

United Way of Northwest Georgia (Dalton, Georgia) is offering “The Superhero Sprint,” which is a one-mile race for the whole family. Awards will be given for the top runners, top companies, and top school, but they’re also holding a costume contest! The entry fee is only $10 and it includes a free cape or Live United T-shirt. I don’t know about you, but I think the idea of running with a cape (or dressed up as any superhero) sounds pretty cool!

Branch County United Way (Coldwater, Michigan) is offering the “Living Color Living United 5K,” which is a fun run raising awareness and funds for the support of issues in the community. It promotes a healthy lifestyle by urging everyone to “Get Out, Get Active, and Live United.” During this race, there will be color stations placed throughout the route, so you are splashed with different colors along the way. The dress code requirement is to wear white - perfect for promoting Live United T-shirts! Not only does this race sound fun, but it’s meant to be fun, as it is not a timed race and is being promoted as a fun run.

Fox Valley United Way (Aurora, Illinois) is offering the “What Floats Your Cardboard Boat Race,” which is a boat race for boats made entirely out of cardboard. The primary purpose of this race is to have fun, while raising awareness of Fox Valley United Way’s fundraising efforts and community partnerships. All sorts of awards are given out in this race, including a best in race award, team spirit award, judge’s choice award, people’s choice award, and even “The Wonder That Went Down Under – Most Spectacular Sinking Award.” They provide boat building tips on their Web site and get you excited about participating by including a video and pictures from years prior. 

If I was a community member in any one of these three communities, I would definitely want to participate – I would want to “fly through downtown Dalton,” be splashed with color and turn my Live United T-shirt into a colorful masterpiece, and design and decorate a boat made entirely out of cardboard; all while knowing I was helping to make a difference in the community!

Are you offering community members the opportunity to race for your United Way? How are you getting community members excited to give to your United Way? Share your cool fundraising ideas in a comment below or send us an e-mail at, so we can share your great examples with other United Ways!

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