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Oakland Children's Hospital Cancels Devil Mountain Run

Original post made by JRM, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Apr 10, 2012

I was getting ready to register for this annual event for the 25th year in a row and it saddened to see the Hospital's announcement that it was deemed to no longer be an effective fundraising event for them. The race started in 1978 and will now join the San Ramon fireworks as a thing of the past. Ironically, each year I would see hundreds of children 10 and under running the race for the first time and whole families making it an annual fitness oriented outing, EXACTLY the kind of activity our kids need nowadays with creeping obesity. I think the Hospital needs to be a bit more transparent with us long time supporters, specifically how much did this race harvest for them each year in donations via the registrations and what were the trends year over year. In my view, even if they would only net 5 grand after expenses the proceeds from that one day is only a small part of the greater benefit for the Hospital. The community exposure and further opportunity to "brand" their facility in an affluent area is a marketing opportunity while they are in the midst of aggresively expanding into the Tri Valley with a proposed new facility.
At the end of the day I didn't mind donating $35.00 to run on a trail I run on 4 times a week for free, even though the newpaper has publicly documented the fact the nurses at Children's make $135,000 per year and pay only a small fraction of their health insurance coverage. I and many other health care professionals felt the recent nurse's strike at Children's was outrageous but that is another topic for another time.
I hope other long time runners/supporters noise level about cancelling this event will cause the Children's administration to think twice about dissing us without the facts behind their decision.

Comments (2)

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:11 am

I actually agree 100% with JRM on every issue noted.

This was a great annual event for the town and the hospital, and remember fondly the first year my son, who was then about 4, ran in the mini race they had for little ones in the parking lot where the farmers market is. I am surprised that the town and or the hospital did not make an effort to keep this charitable event going, even if the amounts raised were diminishing. Getting the little ones involved in physical fitness, and away from video games and childhood obesity and diabetes, is desperately needed more than ever. This was a win-win event for the town, the hospital, and the community.

Children's Hospital, like the Shriner Hospitals, do fantastic things for so many sick young children, with top notch board certified pediatric medical doctor specialist often donating their time and treasure and talent to help sick children, regardless of lack of health insurance, or financial means to pay for services. Nurses, making on the average $135,000 per year, and then disrupting the care of these poor children, by going on strike, is outrageous, but agree is better discussed on another forum.

It is too bad that this great charitable event is coming to an end.


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Posted by John B. Ramsey SR '79
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Apr 24, 2012 at 7:42 am

I loved doing the Devil Mountain Run too. I was fortunate to be able to run in all 34 of the races and had already purchased plane tickets for my annual trek from Maryland back to my childhood home of the San Ramon Valley. Children's Hospital had posted fundraising goals of about $125,000 for each of the last two races. In the end, the races brought in over $50,000 both years. Maybe it didn't hit the goals, but it is definitely a substantial amount of money for a lot of charities. Such a shame. Some of us old-timers will meet at 8 AM on May 6 at the original 1978-1999 starting line and run the old course just for fun.


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