Unique Underground 5k and 10k “Groundhog Run” Benefiting Children with Disabilities at Ability KC Returns this January for it’s 42nd Run at Hunt Midwest SubTropolis
Kansas City, MO — January 23, 2024 — The Ability KC Groundhog Run returns January 28th 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.
Since its inception in 1982, the annual Groundhog Run has raised more than $5.5 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 70% of children in those programs qualify as low-income. Ability KC supports a high percentage of under-resourced families across its medical and educational therapeutic programs and workforce development services.
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.
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. The 2024 race will also include a fun Kids’ Zone and “Kids’ 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.
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 Brooks Elliot.
Despite the unexpected challenges Brooks faces with his rare genetic mutation in the SPTAN1 protein, he has defied the most improbable odds at an early age. Diagnosed in 2021, he’s among only 21 individuals globally grappling with this condition While this diagnosis’ full implications remain unclear, Brooks has faced both developmental and physical delays because of it. Brooks’ family’s journey brought them to Ability KC, where
their son continues to thrive through the Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool educational and therapeutic services. Brooks’ family says the impact this institution has on Kansas City and beyond is awe-inspiring, touching countless lives. Their family has personally benefited tremendously, fostering a deep gratitude for the chance to support the sustainability of these crucial services for the future. Though Brooks has faced more challenges in his early years than most, he beams with an active spirit and a radiant smile. He and his parents eagerly participate in events like the Groundhog Run, with his parents, Bret and Alex Elliott serving as this year’s Groundhog Run Co-Chairs, rallying for support for other children like him who benefit from Ability KC’s services.
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
For over 75 years, Ability KC’s legacy has been building brighter futures for children and adults with complex illnesses, injuries, and disabilities through its 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. Serving hundreds of thousands of individuals and families across Missouri and Kansas, Ability KC is a critical bridge between healthcare and quality of life, helping individuals integrate into homes, schools, workplaces, and our communities. Ability KC is a nationally-recognized comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation and value-based care organization 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. Learn more at 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 $2.5 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.
Support and Impact
We’re immensely grateful for the generous sponsors and supporters whose contributions to the Groundhog Run have such a profound impact on the bright futures of the children receiving services at Ability KC’s Mary Shaw Branton Therapeutic Preschool. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the following Corporate and Individual sponsors for their exceptional donations of $5,000 and above for the 42nd annual Groundhog Run. For a full list of this year’s Sponsors, visit AbilityKC/GroundhogRun.