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George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K hits the streets Oct. 6 — a single fundraiser benefitting more than 50 Rochester causes

This “Philanthropy Challenge” presented by MVP Health Care returns for its second year

Rochester, N.Y., September 20, 2012—In the spirit of George Eastman’s philanthropic legacy, the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K presented by MVP Health Care returns to the streets for its second year on Saturday, Oct. 6, to raise funds for more than 50 non-profit causes. This “philanthropy challenge” is a new way of fundraising, allowing dozens of organizations to raise funds via a single event, and Rochester has embraced it. Last year, more than 1,000 runners and walkers registered, ranging in age from 4 to 82, raising more than $300,000.

The 5K route – which is certified to be accurate by USA Track & Field -- begins and ends at Eastman House, and includes the Neighborhood of the Arts and ArtWalk and passes by numerous Rochester landmarks, many built or supported by George Eastman. The Photo Finish 5K embodies Eastman’s ideals of wellness and health and his desire for Rochester to be the best city in which to live and work. Eastman gave much of his fortune to Rochester charities, hospitals, and universities and often used his philanthropy to encourage others to give, resulting in the creation of Rochester’s United Way and Red Cross as well as Strong Memorial Hospital.

How can several organizations benefit from one event?

The Photo Finish 5K allows organizations of varying levels to raise money while Eastman House staff and volunteers handle the event organization. While Eastman House raises money from registration fees, participants representing various organizations can raise money via pledges to run or walk in the Photo Finish 5K. Individuals or teams can sign up on behalf of a favorite non-profit organization. This type of philanthropy model has been successful in major cities, with this local race modeled after the London Marathon, which raises millions of dollars for charity.

The dozens of Rochester area organizations taking part in this year’s Photo Finish 5K walk and run year include School of the Holy Childhood, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, RIT Young Professionals, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ronald McDonald Charities, Gilda’s Club, UNYFEAT, and YMCA of Greater Rochester.

How to start fundraising

To facilitate fundraising, the Eastman House has teamed up with Crowdrise, an innovative, online fundraising site, which encourages donations by any denomination. Charity teams or individuals can access online tools at www.crowdrise.com/photofinish5k. Interested participants can register online for the Photo Finish 5K as well as on site the morning of the race.  

An additional component to the Photo Finish 5K is a global reach, since participants need not be in Rochester to “RUN for George.” The race ran be run or walked anywhere, while still raising money for a chosen Rochester-based charity.

Numerous prizes will be offered to participants, for both top fundraisers and those with best finishing times, including cash prizes for charities of choice. The cause raising the most funds in 2011 was the Wish List Society for Wilmot Cancer Center. Walk and run participants also qualify for passes to area culturals, including the RPO and Dryden Theatre.

MVP Health Care is the presenting sponsor of the Photo Finish 5K with additional support provided by Medved and Wegmans. Learn more and register for the event at http://photofinish5k.eastmanhouse.org.


What they’re saying about the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K

“MVP Health Care is exceedingly proud to be the presenting sponsor of the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K event which will benefit not only Eastman House but also many other worthy community charitable organizations. I can think of no better opportunity than this one to illustrate MVP’s commitment to support the programs that lead to healthier communities and overall community betterment.” — David W. Oliker, President and CEO, MVP Health Care

“The George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K was easily one of my most favorite memories of 2011. I have been participating in 5K and 10K races for 20+ years and this race, in its first year, topped them all. Not only was it incredibly well organized, it was staffed by enthusiastic and wonderful people. When my sister and I decided to set up Team soulrun for Livestrong, we had no idea as to the fun we were about to have, the friends we were about to make, and the feeling of accomplishment we would feel, not only for successfully finishing a 5K but in raising over $4,000 for a cause so dear to us … This is absolutely one of the best race courses in Rochester. Beautiful and scenic, it gave me a chance to see a part of the city up-close that I usually speed past while hurrying to work.” — Katie Papas, 2011 participant

“Not-for-profits must find new ways to both collaborate and generate revenue to support our various missions. We applaud George Eastman House for having the vision to bring the local community together, while benefitting the organizations — and people — who are in the greatest of need. In addition, a walk/run event provides an opportunity for a fun and fitness-focused event, which can be enjoyed by the staff, clients, board members and friends of our organization.”    — Rod Cox-Cooper, CEO, Wilson Commencement Park

“This race is so meaningful because the participants can really invest themselves in a cause that they truly care about. It's what sets this race apart and makes it special. Many people have amazing stories of how the organizations they are fundraising for have been important to them and this is their chance to give back to those places.”  —    Adriane Smith, member of the Eastman Young Professionals

Event website: http://photofinish5k.eastmanhouse.org/

Fundraising website: http://www.crowdrise.com/PhotoFinish5k2012

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