The Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) is an official partner of the AllState Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic’s nonprofit fundraising campaign for 2021. JLNO members and their families have been participating in the 10K race and collecting donations for the League since 2019.
Although elite athletes usually claim the top prizes in the race, you do not have to have to be able to run a seven-minute mile to qualify to participate in the event. The 2021 Run, Walk, Give Committee Chair Aimee Brice encourages members of all ability levels to lace up their sneakers and commit to finishing 6.2 miles on foot.
Runners and walkers for the League do not have to prepare for the Classic all on their own. The Run, Walk, Give Committee has been hosting gatherings for participants at Audubon Park every Saturday morning during the six weeks leading up to the race period. “This year, we weren’t sure if we would offer the meetings,” according to Aimee because of COVID-19 safety restrictions. But she says the response from members was unequivocal. “So many people expressed interest in attending,” she recalls. “People really want to be involved and to have that chance to run, walk or socialize safely.”
The Crescent City Classic is a beloved New Orleans tradition, typically drawing thousands of visitors during Easter weekend to travel the course beginning at the Superdome, through downtown, the French Quarter, down Esplanade Avenue and to the finish line at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This year, the race will be held virtually for the second time due to the city’s restrictions on large gatherings. Virtual racers usually use phone apps or wearable devices like a fitbit to record their distance and speed along a course of their own design and then submit their results to the race organizers. Run, Walk, Give participants will be able to choose which day and time they run or walk their 6.2 miles between March 20 – April 3.
In years past, walking or running the Classic meant waking up early on Saturday and having to prepare for unfavorable weather conditions. For some League members, even the convenience of being able to schedule their own start time and course may not be enough to entice them to hit the pavement. Those members have the option to participate in the success of Run, Walk, Give by donating towards a JLNO runner’s fundraising goal.
“Every dollar raised for the organization goes to help women and children in our area,” Aimee says. And members who train for the race can reap another benefit. According to Aimee, “exercise and being active helps your health, especially your heart health, which is important when heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.”
Participating in this year’s Run, Walk, Give not only helps JLNO advance the wellbeing of women and children, but can help advance members’ own wellbeing at the same time.
This year, JLNO members who register for the race and fundraise a total of $250.00 for the League can earn 10 flexible credits to apply to 2020-2021 League year obligations.