St. Margaret Foundation turns Demchak Hope Run into Quarantine 5K
Monday, March 23, 2020 | 11:01 PM
St. Margaret Foundation will host an online “Quarantine 5K” in lieu of its traditional spring foot race.
The Brian Demchak Hope Run/Walk, originally scheduled for May 17, is converting to a virtual event, Foundation President Mary Lee Gannon said.
“Celebrate germ-free,” Gannon said. “Turn cabin fever into purpose by running any day during this emergency.”
The decision comes after CDC recommendations to limit contact, she said. Also, because the walk-a-thon is hosted at UPMC St. Margaret, near Aspinwall, it was the correct move in order to dedicate resources to manage the coronavirus outbreak in the coming months, Gannon said.
Proceeds typically benefit underserved patients by covering costs of transportation, medicine and other programs. Money will continue to be funneled to those expenses, but will also provide food, temporary housing and childcare costs for the hospital’s doctors, nurses and other staff.
“St. Margaret Hospital employees don’t have the luxury of working remotely during this crisis and are on the front line 24-hours a day while they struggle with unforeseen childcare issues due to closed daycare centers and schools,” Gannon said.
Those caring for covid-19 patients may also need temporary housing and food so as not to spread the virus to their families, she said.
St. Margaret Foundation has already provided boxed lunches for children of staff who have been out of school since Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandate on March 13 that all K-12 schools close for at least 10 days.
Streets were filled with people who raced from the hospital campus along Delafield Road, down Freeport Road to Blawnox, and back.
This year, Gannon encouraged the same enthusiasm, albeit at home.
“Turn every day of quarantine into health and purpose as you walk, run, skip or hop through the neighborhood, respecting social distancing, to complete the 5K and raise money for neighbors and health professionals,” Gannon said.
Anyone who registers for the race can run or walk anytime through May 17. Gannon encouraged participants to post photos on social media with the hashtag #hoperun5Q.
Cost is $30 at stmargaretfoundation.org/5k.
Anyone who registers by April 30 will get a special logoed shirt mailed to their home.