Credit unions present a check for $450,000 to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals before the 50th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run April 2, 2023. (CUNA photo)

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run celebrates 50th running

April 2, 2023

A pair of 21-year-old runners finished first in their groups and credit unions presented Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with a check for $450,000 Sunday morning at the 50th running of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.

Tsegay Kidanu of Ethiopia was the first-place men’s finisher and he set a new course record with a time of 46:08. Sarah Chelangat of Uganda was the first-place women’s finisher with a time of 52:04, 33 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

CUNA Board Vice Chair Caroline Willard, president/CEO of the Cornerstone League, held the finish line tape for the winners.

“Of all the events that bring credit union advocates to Washington, D.C., the Credit Union Cherry Blossom race is as festive as it is philanthropic,” Willard said. “I’m honored to cheer on race finishers in the name of Credit Unions for Kids and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”  

The funds came from Credit Union Miracle Day, a consortium of credit unions who showcase the credit union difference through support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. MD|DC Credit Union Association President/CEO John Bratsakis chairs Credit Union Miracle Day.

Credit unions have donated more than $10.3 million to CMN Hospitals over 20 years of race sponsorship. Credit unions are the fifth largest annual donor to CMN Hospitals and the third largest lifetime donor, having raised more than $150 million.

“This is really an example of what credit unions do every day, which is working collaboratively and cooperatively for the financial well-being of their communities,” said Bratsakis. “One of the ways we do that collectively is the work we do with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

CUNA, Leagues, and credit union leaders spoke about this partnership the Friday before the race in a press conference.

“Credit unions are about supporting our members and communities in good times and bad, and the Credit Unions for Kids partnership that helps make kids better—at no cost to families—is part of that,” said Jason Stverak, CUNA deputy chief advocacy officer for federal government affairs.”

Physical health, like financial health, is something we should never take for granted, and it is an honor to do what we can to support those efforts.

Tim Anderson, president/CEO of U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union, has a personal experience with CMN Hospitals, as his granddaughter Diamond suffered from several misdiagnoses before coming to CMN Hospitals in 2008.

“Now she’s 24 years old, she’s given us a great-grandson, and it makes me emotional to talk about it, but it’s all because of what we do to help Children’s Miracle Network, the fundraising, the partnership, is just so, so important for so many,” he said.

Montez Hairston, president/CEO of Congressional Federal Credit Union said the race represents work and cooperation among credit unions and all race partners.

“This event holds a very prominent position locally, as well as nationally. It’s a time-honored staple of the Cherry Blossom festivities,” he said. “As credit unions we’re fortunate to have this opportunity to demonstrate our core value of helping the communities we serve.”

CUNA, Congressional Federal Credit Union, U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union, CMN Hospitals, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run/5K Run/Walk, and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, sponsor the Capitol Hill Competition, where Congressional offices compete to see which runs the fastest as a team. 

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues presented CMN Hospitals with a check for $210,000 at the Credit Union SACTOWN Run, held in Sacramento Sunday.