April 14, 2016

Shade Tree Trot set for April 23

The eighth annual Shade Tree Trot is set for Saturday, April 23.

The eighth annual Shade Tree Trot is set for Saturday, April 23.

Organizers are hoping to attract nearly 1,000 participants for the 5K fun run/walk to raise money for the Shade Tree Clinic. The free health center is run by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) and provides care for acute and chronic illnesses, social services and health education to Nashville residents with limited resources.

This year’s Shade Tree Trot is set for Saturday, April 23, on the Vanderbilt campus. (photo by Anne Rayner)

The event is the single largest source of funding for the student-run clinic.

“The purpose of the trot is twofold,” said Kelsie Riemenschneider, co-director of this year’s event. “We want to raise money for the clinic because it is run on donations and by volunteers, but we also need to promote awareness of the clinic and its mission.

“We all believe that health care is a right and that it is very important to serve everyone in our community not just those who are able to make their way through our doors on campus.”

Riemenschneider, along with co-directors Benjamin Li and Joseph Elsakr, are all third-year students at VUSM. In an effort to attract more entrants, the organizers decided to do a better job of reaching out to the undergraduate students at Vanderbilt University.

“We have always had an undergraduate relations committee, but this year we have several undergrad/pre-med students working directly with us on the race,” Riemenschneider said. “The undergrad student leaders have been great advocates for us and have really been working to get information out to their classmates.”

The family-friendly event will feature live music, food trucks, face painting and a bounce house. The flat course will begin and end at the Vanderbilt Football Stadium at the corner of Jess Neely Drive and Natchez Trace.

Last year’s Shade Tree Trot and benefit dinner raised a record amount — more than $51,000. The students hope this year’s events can bring in similar totals.

The clinic, which opened in 2004, provides hands-on experience for medical students from VUSM and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and sees 400 patients a year.

Register online at http://www.active.com/nashville-tn/running/distance-running-races/shade-tree-trot-5k-2016.

Online registration closes at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. Registration is $30 for students, $35 for non-students and $25 per member for teams.

Participants can pick up race packets on Friday, April 22, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the North Lobby of Light Hall. Same day registration and packet pick-up begins at 6:30 a.m.

Signature race-day T-shirts are given to all participants/donors.