George Eastman House hosts Photo Finish 5K Oct. 1

This “Philanthropy Challenge” presented by MVP Health Care will raise funds for numerous Rochester non-profits

For Release 2011-06-09

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Dozens of local non-profit organizations will benefit from a single fundraiser this fall — the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K presented by MVP Health Care, aka The Philanthropy Challenge, hitting Rochester streets Saturday, Oct. 1. This type of event has become a fundraising frontrunner in major cities, with this local race modeled after the London Marathon, which has raised millions of dollars for charity.

The goal of this inaugural race is to raise funds for George Eastman House as well as the many cultural, educational, community, and health organizations that make Rochester a celebrated place to live. A secondary goal is to create an event that embodies both George Eastman’s philanthropic spirit and his ideals of wellness and health. He wanted Rochester to be healthiest and best city in the world in which to live and work.

How can several organizations benefit from one event? While Eastman House raises money from registration fees, teams representing various organizations can raise money via pledges to walk or run in the Photo Finish 5K. Individuals or teams can sign up on behalf of a favorite charity (there is no requirement to assemble a team).

Organizations already committed to take part include Wilson Commencement Park, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Open Door Mission, Memorial Art Gallery, McQuaid Jesuit High School, and Rochester International Council.

“MVP Health Care is exceedingly proud to be the presenting sponsor of the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K event which will benefit not only Eastman House but also many other worthy community charitable organizations,” said David W. Oliker, MVP’s president and CEO.  “We have recently created a unit devoted to social responsibility within our company’s Corporate Affairs Department.  I can think of no better opportunity than this one to illustrate MVP’s commitment to support the programs that lead to healthier communities and overall community betterment.”

Eastman House serves both a regional and international community and has a history of creating strategic partnerships to increase the strength of those efforts. 

“The potential for impact goes beyond the average 5K race, as this Philanthropy Challenge will benefit our entire community,” said Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House. “The Photo Finish 5K empowers participants to support the organizations that mean the most to them while having fun in the process. Our focus is a continuation of George Eastman’s legacy of encouraging a healthy and generous community.”

The 5K route will begin and end at Eastman House, and will include the Neighborhood of the Arts and ArtWalk and will pass by many Rochester landmarks.

Interested participants can learn more and register at http://photofinish5k.eastmanhouse.org. Following registration, charity teams or individuals can begin fundraising using special online tools at www.crowdrise.com/photofinish5k. an innovative website co-founded by actor and activist Ed Norton, which allows individuals and groups to raise money online in conjunction with the Photo Finish 5K. It takes about one minute to create a fundraising page. Donation leader boards and ongoing prizes from now until race day will make the fundraising component fun and interactive.

An additional component to the Photo Finish 5K is a global reach, since participants need not be in Rochester. The race ran be run or walked anywhere, while still raising money for a chosen Rochester-based charity.

Numerous prizes will be offered to participants, for both top fundraisers and those with best finishing times. Those who raise the most money can win private movie screenings at the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House, and for the CEO or board member raising the most money, a donation will be made to his or her non-profit organization. The top fundraiser overall wins a trip to California to take part in the Honda L.A. Marathon in March 2012. Additional prizes include passes to several cultural organizations, including Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Rochester Museum & Science Center, and a two-week membership to Midtown Athletic Club. Participating organizations also will be offering incentives and gifts.

The volunteer co-chairwomen of the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K presented by MVP Health Care are Victoria Cherry, representing the Eastman House Board of Trustees and Eastman House Council, and Rachel Pikus, representing the Eastman Young Professionals.



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