Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. (May 30, 2018) – Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN) hosted their 2nd Annual Smile Mile and 5K race on May 12th, 2018, presented by St. Joe Community Foundation. The race started and ended at Watercolor Marina Park located in Santa Rosa Beach.
The CVHN signature event is one of only two signature events the organization has created to help raise funds directly impacting the health and well-being of children in Walton and Okaloosa counties. The 2018 race increased net fundraising, nearly doubling funds from the inaugural year in 2017. “We are so grateful that our community once again rallied behind CVHN to help make this a successful event. To raise over $50,000 in our second year is amazing. These funds will go directly to our mission of helping the kids of Walton and Okaloosa counties,” says Mike Gavigan, chair of the board for CVHN.
Race participation doubled in 2018 from the inaugural year, selling the race out just minutes before start time with 400 total participants (some choosing to run without race bibs). “We hoped for a substantial increase, but as we encouraged teams of participants to band together in support of CVHN, we were astounded by the skyrocketing participation in the last days and minutes before the race, doubling participation from 2017,” says Gavigan.
The largest race team was formed by a local school, Ohana Institute. The largest fundraising team was Santa Rosa Beach Golf & Beach Club raising over $5,000. Each of these teams were awarded with beach bonfires donated by local businesses, Rent Gear Here and La Dolce Vita. Over a dozen teams were formed in addition to individual race participation.
This year’s first place winner of the 5K hailed from Indiana, Mr. Brian Joyce. First place winner of the one mile “Fastest Mile on 30A” was Carter Ward, a twelve year old local from Santa Rosa Beach. Both winners were awarded with a two-night stay at WaterColor Inn.
The 3rd Annual Smile Mile & 5K is scheduled to be held in WaterColor on Mother’s Day Weekend, May 11, 2019. With the race participation doubling in its second year, the CVHN race committee has decided to cap race participation in 2019. “We are still trying to determine the right size for our fundraising race, but it is easy to see that the community made the race a raging success, and we would like to see it grow to its full potential. We want to encourage race participants throughout the region – while nurturing our local community as its beneficiary,” says Gavigan.
To learn about CVHN please contact Kelly Thompson at (850) 622-3200 X101. All proceeds from the event went to CVHN, which spends 93 cents of every dollar on its programs helping children in Walton and Okaloosa counties. The funds help sustain the CVHN mission for their three major programs: the CVHN Dental Clinic located in Santa Rosa Beach, a Mobile Dental Clinic that visits elementary schools and local charities, and a Healthcare Referral Service supported by a network of volunteer medical service providers.