Jenni Miller | Ability KC
Zach Murdock | Hunt Midwest
Chris Meier | Hunt Midwest
Unique Underground 5k and 10k “Groundhog Run” Benefiting Children with Disabilities at Ability KC Returns this January for it’s 41st Run at Hunt Midwest SubTropolis
Kansas City, MO — January 17, 2023 — The Ability KC Groundhog Run returns January 29th at Hunt Midwest‘s SubTropolis beginning at 8:00 AM Central Time. This unique, 100% underground event raises money for children with disabilities who receive services at Ability KC – a nationally recognized comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility and leader in value-based care—that serves hundreds of thousands of individuals across multiple states.
This year, Ability KC is excited to share a new feature to this historic annual community fundraising event. The 2023 race will include a “Children’s Run” in between the standard 5K and 10K races. This untimed fun run is for children ages 0-8, in distances ranging from 50 yards to 200 yards based on their age group.
Since its inception in 1982, the annual Groundhog Run has raised more than $5.3 million for children receiving therapeutic and educational services at Ability KC’s Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool. All proceeds from the Groundhog Run help Ability KC serve thousands of children with disabilities regardless of their family’s financial circumstances. Today more than 68% of children in those programs qualify as low-income. Ability KC supports a high percentage of underserved families across its medical and educational therapeutic programs and workforce development services, with more than 49% of individuals served being from Jackson and Wyandotte counties.
Every year the fundraising event makes it possible for Ability KC to help children reach milestones critical to their success to prepare them for kindergarten and life beyond the classroom.
“We really needed somewhere that knows the specific therapies necessary to treat specific aspects of our son’s condition and someone who can focus on them to see those vast gains. We know he is going to need prolonged therapy for a while, but as long as he is getting services through Ability KC, we know he can do anything,” said Keva Arnold, the mother of a child attending the Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool.
The thousands of participants supporting this event will comfortably make their way through the USATF Certified 5K and 10K Course’s paved, brightly lit roadways of SubTropolis in the nation’s most unique race. Nestled beneath 150 feet of Missouri limestone along I-435, SubTropolis—the world’s largest underground business complex— offers runners an ideal respite from the intense winter cold with a year-round, climate-controlled, 65- to 68-degree environment. In addition to generously donating SubTropolis for the day, Hunt Midwest’s staff works more than 350 hours surrounding the race to prepare, host, and clean up after the Groundhog Run.
Community participants, sponsored teams, families served, Ability KC’s expert therapists and educators and thousands of others from across the nation will fill SubTropolis to help children with disabilities, like Nash David.
When Nash was born, he was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a complex and rare heart defect that affects roughly 960 babies born each year, according to the CDC. In HLHS, the heart’s left side is underdeveloped and, as a result, cannot effectively pump blood to the body, causing many complications for newborns. Now 4 years old, Nash has fought his way through four open-heart surgeries. Following the surgeries, Nash was also diagnosed with Laryngomalacia due to being on a ventilator and having tubes down his throat. As a result of two supraglottoplasties, he also suffers from scar tissue. Through working with his therapy team at Ability KC, he has been able to cease using his feeding tube for nutrition needs and is overcoming his speech challenges, continuing to meet developmental goals for children his age. Although Nash has experienced more in the first 4 years of his life than most of his peers, on the outside he is an active child with a bright smile. When Nash’s parents first brought him to Ability KC, they wondered if their son would ever be able to do the things other 2-year-olds were achieving around him. Nash’s journey has been long but successful so far. Nash and his parents will be joining the 41st Annual Groundhog Run to support other children like him receiving services at Ability KC.
About Groundhog Run
Groundhog Run is one of Ability KC’s largest fundraising events and has achieved recognition for more than 5 consecutive years by The Independent as one of Kansas City’s Top 10 events. Groundhog Run was established in 1982 to support the provision of therapeutic and educational services for children with disabilities at Ability KC’s Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool. This annual event provides critical support to ensure families have access to life-changing care that prepares their children for kindergarten and life beyond the classroom no matter their family’s circumstances.
About Ability KC
Serving hundreds of thousands of individuals and families in Missouri and Kansas, Ability KC is a nationally recognized comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation and value-based care facility in Kansas City. It is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation (CARF), the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is designated as a Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility (CORF) through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Since 1947, Ability KC’s founding legacy has been building brighter futures for children and adults with disabilities through comprehensive medical, educational and vocational services, making individuals and communities stronger through its person-centric approach. Ability KC supports a high level of acuity and complexity in conditions, from brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke and amputation, to rare
conditions, helping infants to seniors achieve life changing and impactful milestones. Find Ability KC online at https://abilitykc.org.
About Hunt Midwest
Hunt Midwest is a Kansas City-based, privately held real estate development company with six decades of expertise in industrial, self-storage, residential, multifamily, and senior living communities, with more than $2 billion of developed projects in multiple geographic markets. Hunt Midwest leverages its reputation, resources, and relationships to create successful real estate solutions.
Hunt Midwest is one of the pillars of the Lamar Hunt Family’s holdings, which include interests in real estate, sports/entertainment, energy/natural resources, and private equity. Other marquee brands include the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bulls, FC Dallas, Hunt Southwest, and Trinity Hunt. Learn more at HuntMidwest.com.