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Lawmakers help CUs launch annual effort to help sick kids
WASHINGTON (3/30/12)--The annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run will again take over downtown Washington, D.C., this weekend, as around 15,000 runners make their way through the streets of the nation's capital, and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will support the race for the 11th-straight time.

Assistant Democratic Leader Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Reps. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) joined race organizers and representatives from Congressional FCU, Washington, D.C.; CUNA; PSCU Financial Services; Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, at a Thursday press conference to kick off the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run.

Click to view larger image Members of Congress, including, from left, Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), and Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), joined Congressional FCU CEO Charles Mallon, right, and Patricia Jasper-Zellner, senior associate director of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, to kick off 2012 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run festivities at a Thursday Capitol Hill press conference. (CUNA Photo)

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) are also among the more than 180 members of Congress that have joined Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray as honorary chairs of the run.

The 10-mile run and 5k run/walk event raises funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said the run "brings together credit unions from across the country in support of a great cause." The title sponsor, Credit Union Miracle Day Inc., is entering its 11th year of race sponsorship, and has raised more than $5 million since beginning its sponsorship of the race in 2002. The group is slated to sponsor the race through 2016.

This year's race will feature a competitive field, with last year's female champion Julliah Tinega and 2011 male runner-up Allan Kiprono among those running.

CUNA has again co-sponsored the "Capitol Hill Competition," a race-within-a-race for runners from congressional offices. This competition set a record this year, as nearly 1,000 runners are registered. Cheney said the record high participation is a testament to the competition's popularity on the Hill, and to the great competitive spirit of the race.

T-shirts for participants in the 2012 Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run await pickup. (CUNA Photo)
A group of CUNA volunteers will again work the race bag check tent, where runners will store their belongings while they race. "It's an honor each year to help out the race in this way each year," Cheney said. CUNA employees are also taking part in the day's festivities by either running or walking the 10-mile or 5k routes.

In addition, two Credit Union FREEDOM Ten Mile Runs have also been planned, with one taking place on Saturday at the U.S. Army Garrison in Wiesbaden, Germany, and another scheduled for Sunday in Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. The Germany-based FREEDOM Run is the first at that location, and 350 runners are expected to take part.The Camp Arifjan run drew 470 runners last year.


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