2017-01-27 / Community

Beneficiary named in Beach to Beacon fundraising race

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, announced that Let’s Go!, a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program based in Portland, has been chosen as beneficiary of this year’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth on Aug. 5.

A program of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center, Let’s Go! is focused on increasing physical activity and healthy eating for children from birth to age 18.

Let’s Go! collaborates with schools, child care and outof school programs, health care practices and community organizations in Maine and New Hampshire to reach children and their families wherever they live, learn, work and play. Let’s Go! reaches more than 220,000 children, using the 5-2-1-0 healthy habits message – five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks.

“Let’s Go!, a program of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, is an ideal partner as a beneficiary for the 2017 TD Beach to Beacon race and the TD Charitable Foundation couldn’t be more pleased,” said Larry Wold, president of TD Bank in Maine. “With its focus on physical activity and healthy eating, Let’s Go! is transforming young lives in Maine and across our region. We applaud their success in getting children up and moving and thinking about what they eat. Let’s Go! is a great choice for the special 20th running of the TD Beach to Beacon.”

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank (www.TDBank.com), will provide a $30,000 donation to Let’s Go!. The TD Charitable Foundation has now donated $600,000 to Maine charities over the 20-year history of the TD Beach to Beacon.

Let’s Go! will further benefit from fundraising activities, including the race’s charity bib program, as well as increased awareness through its association with one of Maine’s premiere sporting events. Previous beneficiaries so far have raised an additional $1.5 million or more in total beyond the TD Charitable Foundation donation.

“Partnering with the TD Beach to Beacon 10K feels like a natural extension of our work and the timing couldn’t be better given our renewed focus on physical activity this year,” said Dr. Tory Rogers, medical director of Let’s Go! “This event will help us increase awareness about the importance of physical activity and the athletes, volunteers and organizers are great role models. TD Bank is one of our Founding Partners and we’re honored that 10 years later they continue to support our mission. It’s all very exciting.”

Rogers said TD Beach to Beacon funding will help Let’s Go! establish new partnerships to serve additional communities, create resources for new audiences such as pregnant women and advance evaluation methods.

In 2016, Let’s Go! reported that fruit and vegetable consumption is higher among students at Let’s Go! schools and that sugary drinks and screen time is down at most Let’s Go! sites. Moreover, recent Maine state data suggests a general upward trend in three of the four 5-2-1-0 behaviors: fruit and veggie consumption and screen time habits are moving in the right direction and students are consuming fewer sugary drinks.

Physical fitness for children has been a focus of the TD Beach to Beacon since its inception. The Kids Fun Run remains a popular element of race weekend, and last year race organizers added a competitive High School Mile event, showcasing many of Maine’s top young runners.

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