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Burns & McDonnell's Rock the Parkway Raises Funds for Children's Mercy Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO — More than 5,000 athletes laced up their running shoes to participate in the 13th annual Burns & McDonnell Rock the Parkway Half Marathon and 5K. Athletes raced along scenic Ward Parkway to support Children’s Mercy Kansas City, designated by Burns & McDonnell and KC Running Company as the race’s beneficiary for the fifth consecutive year.

“People across our city and country owe a great deal of gratitude to Children’s Mercy,” said Julee Koncak, Director of the Burns & McDonnell Foundation. “The medical team and staff provide the highest level of care to every child who comes through their doors, and many of the runners in today’s race chose to participate to show how thankful we are to have Children’s Mercy in our backyard.”

Children’s Mercy provides care for children from every county in Missouri and Kansas as well as more than 46 states and 17 countries, with almost 500,000 patient visits each year. The hospital relies on philanthropic giving and community support to fund its services.

“We believe love will create a healthier world for kids, and we’re blown away by the love we feel from people in the community who support our mission, like the runners and fundraisers at Rock the Parkway,” said Jenea Oliver, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Children’s Mercy. “Our world-class, child-first approach and family-centered care comes to life in everything we do. We’re thankful for a city that invests in us as we relentlessly pursue new and innovative ways to improve the well-being of children and families.”

Hosted by Burns & McDonnell since 2010, Rock the Parkway has been consistently voted by runners as a best racecourse in Kansas City. In addition to being lined by some of the area’s most beautiful and historic homes, the course features fairly level terrain and a long downhill finish that make it one of the fastest half-marathons in the Midwest. At the end of the course, vendors greeted runners with prepackaged food from some of the area’s favorite restaurants.

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To promote race safety, police were stationed throughout the race to monitor traffic. Drivers were allowed to cross the route during the race, but were asked to yield to runners on the course. Volunteers also helped coordinate parking and directions to the start/finish line.

“Events like today really shine a light on the strength of the Kansas City community,” said Troy Fitzgerald, Owner of KC Running Company. “From the volunteers and on-site medical providers to the athletes rallying around Children’s Mercy to our host, Burns & McDonnell, the people in this city show up when it comes to creating a healthier, vibrant future for everyone.”

Since 2010, more than 78,000 runners have participated in Rock the Parkway. In addition to funds raised through individual racers on behalf of Rock the Parkway beneficiaries, Burns & McDonnell has donated more than $165,000 to Rock the Parkway beneficiaries in Kansas City, including Children’s Mercy, Girls on the Run, and Science City at Union Station.

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