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Shade Tree Trot benefit run/walk set for April 21

Mar. 22, 2018, 9:35 AM

by Saif Hamdan

The 10th annual Shade Tree Trot, presented by Messer Construction and Carrabba’s, is set for Saturday, April 21, at 9 a.m. on the Vanderbilt campus.

Organizers are hoping to attract at least 600 participants for the 5K fun run/walk to raise money for the Shade Tree Clinic, which provides comprehensive primary care to more than 400 uninsured Middle-Tennessee residents at no cost. The clinic is a unique educational opportunity for medical, nursing, law and pharmacy students to learn how to deliver comprehensive care and address social determinants of health.

The Shade Tree Trot, and the Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction, which was held on Feb. 22, are the two largest sources of funding for the student-run clinic. Last year’s events raised a record-breaking $76,000. The students hope this year’s Trot and Benefit Dinner can meet or exceed that result.

The Trot has not only served as an essential fundraiser over the last 10 years, allowing Shade Tree to continue providing high-value care and free medications for uninsured citizens, but it has also been a unique bridge between Vanderbilt and the greater Nashville community. It brings together everybody from medical professionals to elite runners to families with small children, all uniting for a common purpose to support this organization.

“The Shade Tree Trot is a really important funding source that helps us to continue to dispense essential medications and care to a patient population that would otherwise lack adequate access to care,” said Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student Gregory Fricker, co-director of the Shade Tree Clinic.

“Without the consistent support of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities, our volunteer organization couldn’t provide for the health of more than 400 patients. We are excited to see our community taking these steps for our patients and hope that this momentum doesn’t stop at the finish line.”

As a special celebration for the 10th anniversary, the Trot will feature live music from Heart Sounds, T-shirt giveaways from previous Trots, a bounce house for children (and adults) and a special guest who will fire the starting gun. There will be individual, age-group, and team prizes, as well as free food and beverages. New this year, there will also be a “Day of Service” following the Trot to continue the spirit of volunteerism.

Race registration is open at Registration fees are $25 for students and $30 for non-students through March 31. From April 1 through April 21 (race day), registration is $30 for students and $35 for non-students.

Participants can pick up race packets on Friday, April 20, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the North Lobby of Light Hall. Same day registration and packet pick-up begins at 7 a.m. Signature extra-soft race-day T-shirts are given to all participants/donors.

The family-friendly, flat course will begin and end at the Vanderbilt Football Stadium at the corner of Jess Neely Drive and Natchez Trace.

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