Runners and walkers encouraged to join Team Kids Rock Cancer

Alumni and friends of Maryville University are invited to join Team Kids Rock Cancer, a group of runners and walkers who will take part in GO! St. Louis events on April 14 and 15 to benefit a music therapy program for children battling cancer.

Whether a person wants to sign up for a 5K walk or run a marathon, they are welcome to join the team. Team members receive reduced registration rates through March 1 in exchange for raising funds to benefit Kids Rock Cancer. The Kids Rock Cancer program offers children battling cancer or other blood disorders a session with a certified music therapist who helps them compose and record their own song on a CD. The program provides an emotional outlet and vehicle of self-expression for the children. Kids Rock Cancer is under the direction of the Music Therapy program at Maryville University and is currently offered at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis.

To join Team Kids Rock Cancer, participants must pledge to raise or donate funds at specific levels: Roadie at $125; Groupie at $250 or Producer at $500. Fundraising can also take place as a Composers’ Circle, where participants form a team of up to 10 and pledge to raise $1500 total. Each Composers’ Circle group will then run in honor of a specific Kids Rock Cancer child, who will be matched up with the team.

Kids Rock Cancer Program Director Kristie Skor says, “If you are training for the race, this is a great opportunity to leverage your run to raise money for a cause and make the entire experience more meaningful. Maryville University has created an important music therapy program for the cancer community, and Team Kids Rock Cancer provides an opportunity for the Maryville community to support the kids and families that we serve.”

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Jack Bennett says about 25 to 30 Maryville students are expected to take part in GO! events as part of Team Kids Rock Cancer. He’s talking to them about how they should be training, their diet and what to wear for their race. Maryville’s Director of Learning Design and Technology Julie Bergfeld, one of the top runners in the St. Louis area, is also helping to guide the team.

Team benefits include two T-shirts, one from GO! and one from from Team Kids Rock Cancer. Team participants will be invited to Team Kids Rock Cancer’s “Rockin’ Pasta Party;” they’ll have access to a convenient online fundraising page through Crowdrise; receive e-mails with training and fundraising tips and reduced registration rates through March 1 for the races. Those reduced registration rates are $70 for a marathon, $65 for a half marathon and $25 for a 5K. Race events also include a marathon relay, but Skor says GO! has filled all the possible spots for the relay, and so applicants can no longer sign up for that relay. Participants can also request a copy of “Just Beat It!,” Kids Rock Cancer’s first compilation CD.

For anyone who is not a runner, it’s not a problem! There’s also a Kids Rock Cancer cheer team. This team allows people to act as a virtual runner or sponsor a runner by donating at any of the above mentioned levels. Cheer team donors will receive a team shirt to wear while supporting  Team Kids Rock Cancer on race day.