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Feature Story

September 2017


Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital

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By Chandler Garland

On August 5, hundreds of runners and walkers participated in the third annual Splash 'n' Dash 5k fundraiser to benefit Norton Children's Hospital. It also featured a kid-friendly 1k race and after-race family activities in the "Just-for-Kids Zone." A unique part of this annual event is that participants are able to choose which area of the hospital their donations go to. All who registered for the race also received an official T-shirt and their own personal fundraising page.

"More than $26,000 was designated to the area of greatest need, allowing the Children's Hospital Foundation to support numerous areas of the hospital. In addition to that, over $2,000 was raised toward the Norton Children's Heart Center; nearly $1,500 to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and more than $1,000 to Art & Music Therapy programs. The remaining funds were designated to areas such as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and other areas selected by participants," explained Courtney Gatti the development coordinator for The Children's Hospital Foundation at Norton. All donations go to benefit the 170,000 children in Norton Children's hospital and other Norton children's facilities, regardless of their ability to pay.

The event included 13 "splash" zones—obstacles, slip-n-slides, sprinklers, tires and more set up along the course. Most of these are provided by or built by several community partners.

While intended to keep participants cool in the hot Kentucky weather, these splash zones have an important meaning to the hospital and the Louisville Community. Max Gilpin, a high school football player, passed away from heat stroke at Norton Children's Hospital on Aug. 23, 2008. The inaugural Norton Children's Hospital Splash 'n' Dash 5k Walk/Run was hosted in memory of Gilpin in partnership with the Max Gilpin "Beat the Heat" Fund.

"Splash 'n' Dash takes place in August each year, in Max's memory. August is known as a very hot month in Louisville, Kentucky, therefore it's important to keep our participants hydrated and their body temperature down. We do this through splash zones and water stations located throughout the course. Splash zone ensure you stay cool on the outside, while water stations ensure you stay cool on the inside," said Gatti

This year's Splash 'n' Dash was the first time the event took place at the Louisville Waterfront Park on the Big Four Lawn. "The past two years the event took place at Beckley Creek Park, Parklands of Floyds Fork. Both are fantastic locations, but in order for our event to continue to grow, we needed additional space," said Gatti

The event was sponsored by Texas Road House, which has been the presenting sponsor since this annual event began.

Gatti added, "Through the Children's Hospital Foundation, we have a wonderful partnership with them [Texas Roadhouse] and love that their team members participate each year in the event."