NEW ORLEANS,La.- In a time of closures and cancellations, philanthropy keeps on running through the 42nd annual Crescent City Classic.
"While the race certainly is a wonderful experience for people who are ready to get out and about at the end of Lent and enjoy a holiday weekend with their families. At its very base, the Run For It Program services the neediest people in out community," said Charity Director Hilary Landry.
The "Run For It" program is the official charity program of the Crescent City Classic.
Last year, the program raised a record-setting $1.2 million for dozens of charities and service- based organizations throughout the New Orleans area.
That mark seems unlikely this year.
The classic's virtual race could potentially set back charities like the Bastion Community back $30,000.
Bastion is a non-profit in New Orleans that helps our veterans make the transition from deployment to every day life.
Bastion Executive Director Dylan Tete says, "Its not just any old revenue, its unrestricted funding which we use to offset expenses related to management and business activities which a lot of foundations and grants do not support."
Money raised from the classic has helped sustain Bastion's operations and the event itself gives the non-profit a platform to promote its cause to thousands of New Orleanians.
"It gets our name and increases brand awareness. The classic is 30,000 people who get to hear about Bastion every year. It's making Bastion a household name in New Orleans each year," says Tete.
"As disapointing as it is to have this event, like every other event taken off of our spring calendars, there is a silver lining to it."
The 2020 Crescent City Classic is making a virtual transition- allowing runners to complete the race on their own time, on designated routes throughout the New Orleans community and even in their homes.
"We are all quarantined to our homes and working from home, working from our computers and working digitally and living and communicating digitally. Now is the time to embrace these charities and give back to those that are most in need,"says Landry
So far this year, the "Run For It" Program has raised a little over $100,000 for 23 local charities.
The program's goal is to raise $1 million by April 11th.
For race registration or donation information, click here.