Credit Union SacTown Run Newsletter - January 2020

Read on for the latest happenings and important dates for this year’s event—as well as a spotlight on credit unions teams and the wonderful things your sponsorships provide.



CHOC CMN Champion

There was cause for celebration when Piper Evans took her first steps at fifteen months old. But within a few weeks, her mother, Debra, noticed some worrying changes: “She started losing her balance, and then we noticed her eyes shaking from side to side in her head. Quickly after that, she stopped crawling altogether.”

Their doctor immediately sent them to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). After a series of tests, Piper was diagnosed with opsoclonus-myoclonus, an auto-immune disorder that leads to involuntary eye and muscle movements. Then, doctors found a neuroblastoma tumor, which was the likely cause of the autoimmune disorder. Fortunately, the tumor had been caught early and surgeons were able to remove it.

Life changed dramatically for the Evans family, with weekly chemotherapy sessions and twice weekly physical therapy appointments. CHOC’s oncology team, led by Elyssa Rubin, M.D, worked with the family’s neurologist in Illinois to create Piper’s treatment plan.

But even at the hardest of times, there was always the CHOC playroom. “Piper loved the playroom,” Debra said. “I had the opening hours memorized. And we would spend hours painting because that’s all she could do really. Or take laps around the nurses’ stations in wagon rides.” Five and a half years after the initial diagnosis, Piper is finally getting off all the medications.



An example of a flyer for one of UC Davis Children's Hospital "Happily Ever After" CMN campaign children--Madelyn. 

The importance and therapeutic value of donations to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at UC Davis is profound. However, the “results” are often talked about in general terms, with broad brush explanations of how the money is utilized for education, research, equipment, and clinical care. Although patient stories highlight donor support and illustrate how lives are saved, there are still questions about what the donations to CMN at UC Davis actually pay for.

With that in mind, we developed a “Happily Ever After” Campaign to highlight CMN at UC Davis donations, clearly outline how the money was utilized and illustrate the direct benefit it has on children hospitalized at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. More so, we sought to underscore how the donations tie directly to each individual child, while also highlighting how these kids having been given a chance at a happily ever after thanks to donor support.

This campaign sought to tell patient stories in a different light, highlighting the amazing care children received and how each child not only survived, but is thriving. Focusing on the resilience these children exhibit every day when faced with daunting health challenges also resonates with donors and is a reminder of our mission.

This “theme” evolved into a successful fundraising campaign that we have now extended into 2020. It has been well received not only by patients and donors, but also internally and with the public at large. Since the inception of the “Happily Ever After” campaign in 2019, it has evolved to encompass donors and their ability to make a lasting impact on sick and injured children through their generosity.

The success of this campaign lies in its simplicity. The posters, cards, and fliers are branded identically and worded with meaningful messaging about each child and how CMN at UC Davis donations helped them. We want to save lives and lifetimes, so the idea of a storybook ending for kids treated at UC Davis Children’s Hospital made perfect sense. You can’t put a price tag on that.

UC Davis Children’s Hospital is a proud member of the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. With more than 120 board-certified physicians in more than 30 subspecialties, UC Davis Children's Hospital offers families a comprehensive range of pediatric services. CMN at UC Davis believes in the power of philanthropy to save lives. We're dedicated to connecting and inspiring community support for the children and families we are privileged to serve at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Your donations create miracles by funding medical care, research, equipment, and education that saves and improves the lives of children in our 33-county service area. Each year, Children's Miracle Network at UC Davis supports grant funding that is typically 25 percent annual projects and 75 percent strategic initiatives. This also includes a wonderful history of endowments to bring the best and most highly skilled care providers to our region.

NOTE: To see Madelyn's entire flyer, click here

--Jacquelyn Miller, Executive Director of Development, UC Davis Health Sciences Development and Alumni Relations



Delta Schools FCU team at the 2019 SacTown Run. 

In 2020, Delta Schools FCU will once again have 100 percent participation in the Credit Union SacTown Run with its staff of eight employees along with three spouses, some family members, and two board members with their spouses.

Unlike prior years, this year the credit union is going to reach out to its members to ask for donations, said CEO Rob Greaff. Delta Schools is also designing a new T-shirt for the run, which the staff will wear once a week in the weeks leading up to the event.

Does the team do anything while in Sacramento—a celebration dinner or team-building exercises? After the event, the group plans to meet in Old Sacramento for an early lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack, Greaff said. It’s something they have done for the past couple of years—a great time of bonding and team building.

Patelco CU's 2019 SacTown Run team. 

Patelco CU  has had up to 86 team members participate in the SacTown Run. This year, it hopes to increase that number to 90.

Before big day, the credit union is planning on hosting an event to raise funds for the cause, according to Patelco CU Executive Director of Credit Union Affairs Flora Nafei.  In 2019, Patelco CU donated $10,000 and raised $1,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the Run. It hopes to raise even more money this year.

Does the team do anything while in Sacramento—a celebration dinner or team-building exercises?  Last year team members got together and did a group picture, as well as met and greeted family members.  This year, the group is planning on having a Patelco booth/table to not only meet and greet members but also have a central location to gather before the event, said Nafei. 



Arturo Torres at the starting line. 

Patelco CU Marketing Coordinator Arturo Torres has participated in the Credit Union SacTown Run for three years. He is a great motivator for the team, rallying everyone to participate in all of the credit union’s charitable/volunteer events, such as Sac Town Run.  Last year he even offered to train team members to get them ready for the run—on his own time after work!  Here are a few more stats from this man with a passion for running and a good cause.

City of residence

San Francisco

Do you participate in any other running events? For how long?

I began running back in 2014 after the passing of my father. I was suffering with anxiety and depression; it really took everything away from me. Since I began running—now going on my seventh year—I have participated in more than 60 races and have ran more than 335 miles. Some of the events that I have participated include the Spartan Races (nine in 2019 alone), Disney Runs, SF Giants Series, Run The Bay, Rock n Roll, Hot Chocolate Run, Bridge to Bridge, and Bay to Breakers, just to name a few.

What do you like most about running?

It helped me cope with the passing of my father; it was therapy for me. I had to find something to keep my mind busy. But besides helping me cope, it challenged me physically and mentally to do something I thought I would never do.

What do you like most about participating in the Credit Union SacTown Run?

It’s a community event with credit unions coming to together for a special cause. 

California and Nevada credit unions—and business sponsors, we’d love to spotlight your teams and runners too! Please send information and photos to League Media Relations Specialist Tina Ramos-Ingold at



Before running in the SacTown Run, you can take in a round of golf at the CMN Friendship Invitation to benefit the UC Davis Children’s Hospitals. The event will be held on Thursday, April 2 at El Macero Country Club in Davis, CA.

2020 CMN Friendship Invitational Event Co-Chair Esther M. Klein is hoping for a large turnout at this year’s event, including more credit union participants. Deadline for sponsorships is March 13 to be included in the program. The deadline for golfers is March 20. For more information, click here.




Unlike previous years, the 2020 California Credit Union League Government Relations Rally (GRR) will not be held right after the SacTown Run due to the legislative calendar. This year’s GRR will be held April 13 and 14. Please make a note of that change if you’re planning on participating in both events, which we hope you will be!  




Your sponsorship directly helps those most vulnerable among us—our kids—right here in California and Nevada. We hope kids like Piper and Madelyn can count on you as a sponsor this year.

Click on the links below to sign on as a 2020 CU SacTown Run credit union or business partner sponsor, and email your form to Deanne Figueras at or call 909-212-6025.



The run’s host hotel is the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, located at 1209 L Street Sacramento, California, USA, 95814.  For more information, click here



10-Mile Run—$49; Homemade Half Add-on: $39

5K Run—$35; Homemade Half Add-on: $55

There are Credit Union and “Political Animal” (for legislators and staff), team competitions, and the Miracle Mile for all ages!

Team Competitions are open for 3-Person teams participating in the 5K.  The first team member to register assigns team name. Subsequent members enter team name to join the team. The winning score is the team with the lowest combined time (sum of all three runners 5K times). 

Miracle Mile—open to all ages! Free for kids age 12 and under until April 3; $10 on April 4 and 5; adults—$10 until April 3; $15 on April 4 and 5

Click here to register.


Volunteers are needed to assist for the 2020 event.  Those interested may contact Dawn Irvine at


The Credit Union SacTown Run raises funds for Children's Miracle Network hospitals in California and Nevada. The event is sponsored by California and Nevada credit unions and credit union businesses, as well as the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.


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