CeliacWalkWide

Busy food expo in 2011

A 13-year long Making Tracks for Celiacs fundraiser has come to an end in the Twin Cities area, at least for now.

Sunday, the Twin Cities ROCK Board announced there won’t be a Making Tracks for Celiacs event in our area in 2015. The event, which was organized by volunteers from Twin Cities ROCK, was a 5K run, 2 mile walk and a food expo.  Full disclosure, I was the the coordinator for three of those years.

Twin Cities ROCK issued a statement that reads in part,

“Unfortunately, with logistical difficulties and volunteer resources dwindling, the annual Twin Cities Making Tracks for Celiacs/Run & Walk will not happen in 2015. We understand this is disappointing for many of the hundreds of people who participate each year.”

As a coordinator, I will admit it was a difficult job to get volunteers and raise money each and every year.  In 2015, Holy Family Catholic High School said it could no longer be the site for our event, which added more logistical challenges.

My family at the 2nd walk in 2003.  Emma, pictured bottom right with my brother.

My family at the 2nd walk in 2003. Emma, pictured bottom right with my brother.

Making Tracks for Celiacs-Twin Cities Memories

I remember the first year we did the Making Tracks for Celiacs, I had just had my second child, Grace, about 6 weeks before our event.  I helped organize, but didn’t walk the 5K during the event, which was held at Boom Island that year.  Instead I sat in my car and fed my baby as I awaited everyone’s return.  That year we only had about 300 attendees and we brought homemade gluten-free brownies and other treats as snacks for people.  It was truly a grassroots effort.

Over the 13  years, I saw it evolve into something so much more.  A few years in, gluten-free food vendors started to attend.  We received great donations from national companies like GoPicnic, Against the Grain, Chex and more. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton attended the event in 2011.  And for all those years, NFL quarterback and MVP, Rich Gannon, his wife Shelley and their two daughters, were there supporting, promoting and raising awareness for the event as well.  They are true warriors for this cause.

Indulge me for a minute as I take a trip down memory lane with these photos…..

Family pictured in 2007, Emma to my right.

Family pictured in 2007, Emma to my right.

On the walk in 2008, Emma, (center), cousin Avery (right), friend Krista (left)

On the walk in 2008, Emma, (center), cousin Avery (right), friend Krista (left)

It was so cold in 2009, I had to wear a stocking cap at the walk!

It was so cold in 2009, I had to wear a stocking cap at the walk!

Emma and her friend Lauren in 2010

Emma and her friend Lauren in 2010

Honorary Chairmen Heidi Collins (pictured with son Reilly), Rich Gannon (right), and Governor Mark Dayton (center) in 2011

Honorary Chairmen Heidi Collins (pictured with son Reilly), Rich Gannon (right), and Governor Mark Dayton (center) in 2011

MN Governor Mark Dayton and me in 2011

MN Governor Mark Dayton and me in 2011

Perfect day for a run at 2012's celiac walk

Perfect day for a run at 2012’s celiac walk

Sample area at the expo during our 2013 event

Sample area at the expo during our 2013 event

Racers just getting ready to run in 2014

Racers just getting ready to run in 2014

After devoting so much time to this event it is hard to see it go.

Of course celiac disease and research is still an important cause, even if the walk isn’t going on here. On a national level, Making Tracks for Celiacs is still happening in 2015.

If you would like to donate to the general event, you can still do so at http://www.celiacwalk.org.

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2 Responses to “No Making Tracks for Celiacs in the Twin Cities in 2015”

  1. I am sorry to hear that your local event is being cancelled. Many people don’t realize the months of planning and logistics that goes into a successful event. As a fellow organizer, I completely understand the decision to not go forward with this event. I am sure your group will come up with something great for your local celiac community in the future! Don’t let this discourage you.

  2. Thanks for your response Erin. It is disappointing. Hopefully we can come up with other ideas. But ROCK does still have some fun events within its group, plus ROCK supports the MN State Fair Gluten Free booth/vendor list which is a great community outreach opportunity. We’ll wait and see what other opportunities come up in the future!

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