March 7, 2019

Annual Shade Tree Trot set to raise funds for student-run clinics

The 11th annual Shade Tree Trot, presented by Messer Construction and Carrabba’s, is set for Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m. on the Vanderbilt campus.


Registration is now open for the Shade Tree Trot, which will benefit both the Shade Tree Clinic and the Clinic at Mercury Courts. (file photo by Anne Rayner

by Donald Okoye

The 11th annual Shade Tree Trot, presented by Messer Construction and Carrabba’s, is set for Saturday, April 20, 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 free, comprehensive primary care to more than 300 uninsured Middle Tennessee residents and the Clinic at Mercury Courts (CMC), a community health clinic that is a partnership between Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Urban Housing Solutions.

Both clinics offer educational opportunities 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. 21— are the two largest sources of funding for the Shade Tree Clinic. Last year’s events raised a record-breaking $96,000. 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 11 years, allowing Shade Tree to continue providing high-value care and free medications for uninsured citizens, it has also been a special bridge between Vanderbilt and the greater Nashville community.

It brings together medical professionals, elite runners, families with small children, students and faculty — all uniting for a common purpose to support the clinic.

“The Shade Tree Trot is a really important funding source for our clinic 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 Rohini Chakravarthy, co-director of the Shade Tree Clinic. “The consistent support of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities has allowed our volunteer organization to provide for the health of over 300 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.”

There will be individual, age-group and team prizes, as well as free food and beverages. There will also be a “Day of Service” following the Trot to continue the spirit of volunteerism.

Race registration is available here. Registration fees are $25 for students and $30 for non-students through March 31. From April 1 through April 20 (race day), registration is $30 for students and $35 for non-students.

Participants can pick up race packets on Friday, April 19, 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.