White Rock Marathon: more than just a race

The White Rock Marathon, held each December, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve watched it grow since I was a little girl cheering on my dad and his brother in the 1980s.

What was once a race featuring a few hundred hard-core runners is now an event that traverses the city. More than 3,000 participants tackle the 26.2-miles these days, and some of them take more than six hours to finish. That makes for a big long day in Dallas — a celebration for anyone who is interested, and sometimes a nightmare for those who just want to go about their daily lives that particular Sunday.

We always hear a ton of complaints about the marathon and how it shuts down our neighborhood streets (we hear equal amount of love for the event), but here’s a number that might make the complainers a bit more tolerant: $560,000.

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That’s the amount of the check the Metro PCS White Rock Marathon presented to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children last night from the 2010 marathon. That’s almost $200,000 more than last year’s donation. And since 1997 when the hospital became the main beneficiary, the marathon has brought in $1.8 million to Scottish Rite.

I have a baby cousin, Kate, who was born with a rare heart condition and an extra thumb on her right hand. Little Kate’s parents live in a small apartment and struggle to make ends meet sometimes. But Kate has received impeccable care since birth, thanks to Scottish Rite, and she will get a chance to grow up. There’s no way the family could have afforded the care that Kate needed — they are like thousands of families who have survived thanks to this hospital.

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And $1.8 million is a big drop in the bucket. So to those who ran and raised money — you did doubly good.

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