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Free Wheelchair Mission Utilizes Partnership With Surf City USA Marathon To Help Raise Funds & Awareness; Nears $2 Million In Donations

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the eighth consecutive year, the Surf City USA Marathon is partnering with Irvine-based Free Wheelchair Mission for a fundraising event that is directly responsible for changing the lives of nearly 40,000 disabled people worldwide. "Run for Mobility" encourages all runners to use the Surf City Marathon as a way to raise funds that send specially engineered wheelchairs to developing nations. 

The largest combined oceanfront marathon and half marathon event in California, the Surf City USA Marathon showcases 20,000 participants, 50,000 spectators and 100,000 Beach Expo attendees from all 50 states and 18 foreign countries on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2013. The award-winning ocean-front course serves as a qualifier for both the Olympic Trials and prestigious Boston Marathon. Detailed information is available at www.runsurfcity.com.

An alliance forged in 2006, Surf City USA Marathon runners have raised more than $1.7 million to date sending over 35,000 wheelchairs to recipients in need. When stretched wheel to wheel, the wheelchairs distributed with these proceeds would cover the entire 26.2 mile course. Last year's Run for Mobility featured more than 350 runners, 115 volunteers and raised enough funds to provide 2,400 wheelchairs to people in need.

"Over the past eight years, the Surf City USA Marathon is consistently one of our largest annual events, both in terms of fundraising dollars and overall participation," said Ariel Rigney, Project and Event Manager at Free Wheelchair Mission. "It's also critical in terms of marketing exposure, access to the public and is our largest volunteer engagement event."

The resulting visibility opened the door to sponsorships and involvements with other events. "The Surf City Marathon—Free Wheelchair Mission relationship is the foundation of our national 'Team Mobility' program which allows athletes to participate in various athletic events across the country (including runs, biking events, football, tennis, golf, and alternative sports like paddle-boarding and surfing) in order to raise awareness through sport," added Rigney.

"Our partnership with Free Wheelchair Mission has far exceeded anything that I ever envisioned," said Surf City USA General Manager Amy Tomchak. "There are few opportunities to make such a significant impact on so many lives and running for those who can't is a great way to make the race more meaningful for everyone involved."

SOURCE Surf City USA Marathon

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