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The Dartmouth
February 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

CHaD Hero fundraiser returns to in-person format, raises $600,000

Over 2,000 participants joined the event to raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

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Courtesy of Olive Isaacs

On Oct. 9, more than 2,000 individuals gathered on the corner of College and East Wheelock streets to kick off the 17th annual Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hero race. While fundraising remains open until the end of 2022, the event has currently generated over $600,000 in donations. All funds raised will go towards supporting children in pediatric intensive care and those receiving patient and family support services. 

This year’s race also marks the return of an in-person CHaD race after the event was fully virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CHaD community fundraising events director Olive Isaacs.

Isaacs said that the event brought “excited” community members together with a united purpose. 

“What really brings people out is the passion for doing good right in their own community,” she said.

The CHaD offered four racecourses this year, including a 5k walk, 5k run, half marathon and Cam’s Course — a 1-mile fun run. In order to race, participants paid a $15 registration fee and met a mandatory fundraising minimum that ranged from $50-$75. This money goes towards serving the 95,000 children who walk through the doors of the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, helping families with an inability to pay to receive necessary treatment for their children.

Some of the Dartmouth students who participated in races joined with their Greek houses, which included Alpha Xi Delta sorority, Alpha Phi sorority, Chi Delta sorority and Zeta Psi fraternity, according to the CHaD’s website. Isaacs said that other students also joined through their sports teams and social service organizations.

Starting at 10 a.m. — one hour before the scheduled race time — children’s activities began in front of the Hopkins Center for the Arts and on the Green, while some participants picked up race bibs and completed last-minute registration, Isaacs said. There was also a performance from the Dartmouth Aires, some of whom participated in the race after performing. Additionally, the Trumbull Hall Troupe, local musical theater group, debuted a preview of an upcoming performance in November. As part of the festivities and hero theme, some runners and volunteers dressed up in capes and superhero costumes. 

“There was a guy dressed in a Captain America costume leading the race on a moped with a massive American flag,” 5k runner Mitchell Jubeir ’23 said. “It’s just supposed to be a fun event where everyone is in good spirits.”

Molly Fried ’25 organized over 20 Dartmouth Triathlon team members’ participation in the race. To meet the fundraising requirements, Fried said she reached out to Triathlon alumni networks to garner donations.

“[Getting alumni donations] basically made the race experience more accessible, while still having proceeds go towards a good cause,” Fried said. “Seeing everyone race was so exciting, I just loved it.”

Jubeir, who ran on the Zete team and came first in the 5k race, said that he ran in the half marathon his freshman year with friends from the Dartmouth Running Team. Jubier said he and other members of his fraternity also used their social networks to collect donations. 

“I think most of us just sent out emails [and] posted things on Facebook and other social media,” Jubier said. 

Isaacs said that the committee that organizes the CHaD is composed of community members from Hanover, Norwich and other surrounding areas, including two Dartmouth students. Preliminary planning for the event involves contacting the College to find a date for the race and coordinating with local jurisdictions to close streets for the racing course. Isaacs said that CHaD planning goes into “high gear” in the spring. In May, registration for the races begins on a day they call “superhero day.” 

Isaacs said that she has high hopes for the future of the event.

“I’m looking forward to helping the event grow and getting more people involved, getting the word out about the mission of Dartmouth Health Children’s,” Isaacs said.