By: Susan Blexrud
It’s a sad fact that twenty percent of women in Western North Carolina live in poverty. To that end, the second annual Ramble Run—a 5K or 12K race on May 12 through Biltmore Farms’ The Ramble neighborhood—will again benefit The Women’s Fund at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
We caught up with Elizabeth Brazas, president of The Community Foundation, to learn more about The Women’s Fund and what it means to impoverished women in Western North Carolina.
In 2005, The Community Foundation launched the Women to Women giving circle and The Women’s Fund, a permanent endowment. Since the launch of Women to Women, more than $1.5 million in grants has been awarded to WNC non-profits helping women and girls. The current focus of the grant program is economic self-sufficiency for financially disadvantaged women and girls in the 18-county Western North Carolina demographic. Among the grant recipients are organizations such as the AB-Tech College Foundation, Children First, Pisgah Legal Services, and the YWCA.
“We are particularly gratified when someone in the community wants to partner with us,” said Elizabeth Brazas, “and the fact that we are the Ramble Run’s designee for the second year in a row is a testament to the commitment of this community partner.”
Asheville Track Club President John Blexrud said, “The Women’s Fund was simply a natural for the Ramble Run because the run is held the day before Mother’s Day, and we wanted to honor mothers. So, in addition to providing a fun event where families can run together and celebrate this occasion, we benefit an organization that focuses on women.”
“We’re just so grateful, not only for the funding, but for the opportunity to collaborate in a wonderful event,” said Brazas. “Community Foundation staff and their children participated in the run last year, and it was a unique treat to run through the beautiful environment of The Ramble.”
Last year was the first time Elizabeth Brazas ever wore a race number. She joined 1,400 runners and walkers in this inaugural event. “I enjoyed myself, though I wasn’t out to break any race records.” She chuckled.
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a newbie like Elizabeth, the Ramble Run is a great way to honor moms and contribute to The Women’s Fund.
In addition to being fun for participants, the Ramble Run features a post race exposition at Biltmore Park Town Square, with activities for the entire family. The Reuter Family YMCA will host FREE child care, dubbed “Parent’s Race Out,” from 7:15am-10:30am. Ages 3 months to 12 years are eligible. Kids will participate in a variety of fun-filled activities while their parents race the 5/12K. New this year is an opportunity for four-person business and civic teams to compete for a great cause. There will also be a post-race Fitness Expo by Ramble Run Presenting Sponsor Mission Sports Medicine, food by Earth Fare, music, and a Kids Kilometer Fun Run.
“Thank you, Ramble Run, for this partnership, for celebrating women in this way, and for recognizing the importance of the work we do for women and girls in Western North Carolina,” Brazas concluded. “It means the world to us.”
The Ramble Run kicks off near the YMCA in Biltmore Park Town Square on Saturday, May 12. For more information or to register for the Ramble Run, visit: www.ramblerun.com.