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Shade Tree Trot set to raise funds for student-run clinic

Feb. 26, 2020, 2:16 PM


The 12th annual Shade Tree Trot, presented by Messer Construction and Synovus Bank, is set for Saturday, April 18, 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. The clinic is a rare 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. 20, are the two largest sources of funding for the student-run clinic. Last year’s events raised a record-breaking $180,000, almost doubling donations from 2018. 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 12 years, allowing Shade Tree to continue providing high-value care and free medications for uninsured citizens, but it has also been a bridge between Vanderbilt and the greater Nashville community. It brings together everyone from medical professionals to elite runners to families with small children, all uniting for a common purpose.

“The Shade Tree Trot is a fun event that brings the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities together to support our student-run clinic,” said Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student Thomas Day, co-director of the Shade Tree Clinic.
“These donations help provide medicines, social services and health care to hundreds of uninsured patients. We are grateful for the generous support of our Nashville neighbors. We look forward to seeing you on race day.”

There will be individual, age-group and team prizes, as well as free food and beverages. New this year will 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 19 (race day), registration is $30 for students and $35 for non-students. Participants can pick up race packets on Friday, April 17, 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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