Summer is arguably the best time for exercising and getting outdoors, and with the following activities, the benefits of being active extend beyond personal fitness and health. Jump on the opportunity to fundraise for worthy causes, show support for underrepresented issues, beautify public parks and help people in need.
Columbia Winery Charity Run and Walk (Aug. 20): Hosted by the Run for Children’s Guild, this run raises money to fund uncompensated care at Children’s Hospital. The guild estimates that 65 percent of the patients treated at Children’s Hospital each year will need financial assistance, and last year the event raised over $100,000 for uncompensated care. The event, which starts and finishes at the Columbia Winery in Woodinville, features a 10K run, a 5K run/walk and a kids’ dash. A festival for runners and their friends and family is held at the winery following the race. For more information, visit runforchildrens.org.
Download the free Charity Miles app: The app lets you earn money for a charity as you run, walk or bike. You can select a charity from a list of more than 30, including Autism Speaks, Wounded Warrior Project and Feeding America. Using your phone’s GPS, the app measures your distance, and Charity Miles’ corporate partners will donate 10 to 25 cents per mile you travel. The app also lets you create teams with your friends and family to work together to earn money. You can even earn while working out on a treadmill. The award-winning app is available for iPhone and Android. For more information, visit charitymiles.org.
Cycle the WAVE (Sept. 18): Cycle the WAVE (Women Against Violence Everywhere) is a fully supported, noncompetitive, all-women’s cycling event in Issaquah. The event seeks to raise awareness for domestic violence prevention and fund prevention programs across Washington State. There are four route options ranging in length, so everyone from the “Little Sister” (12-mile route) to the “Burly Girl” (70-mile route) can participate. The event features a “no-pressure” fund-raising program and a Finish Line Festival. New this year, participants can walk the WAVE, and boys and girls under age 11 can join their female adult family and friends. For more information, visit cyclethewave.org.
Fred Hutch Obliteride (Aug. 12-14): Obliteride raises money to fund cancer research at Fred Hutchinson, a medical center that works to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The event weekend kicks off with a celebration at Gas Works Park and features bike routes all around the greater Seattle area ranging from 10 to 100 miles, so even if you haven’t trained, you can still get in on the fun. There is also a two-day, 150-mile total route option. Kids can participate by riding in the one-mile kids’ ride, or families can ride together. For more information, visit obliteride.org.
With EarthCorps: EarthCorps, an AmeriCorps program, provides ongoing opportunities for families and kids to contribute to cleanups and projects at beaches and parks in the greater Puget Sound area. Past projects have included the restoration of Newport Creek in Bellevue, repairs to the trails in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the creation of natural habitat structures at the Cedar River Watershed. Many volunteer opportunities take place Saturday mornings and afternoons and require advance sign-up. For more information and to sign up for an event, visit earthcorps.org.
With Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCSWW): The goal of CCSWW’s Volunteer Services program is to provide assistance to elderly adults and adults with disabilities such as multiple sclerosis. Though there are many ways to help out, volunteers can stay active by helping with household chores such as yard work, gardening, minor home repair and moving assistance. There are a variety of opportunities in the greater Seattle area to volunteer individually or as a group. For more information, visit ccsww.org.