TORRINGTON – Exercise, breakfast, motorcycles and auctions – the annual Gracie’s Promise summer fundraiser has something for everyone, and all for a good cause.
Saturday, July 14, the charitable event kicks off at Pioneer Park at the Torrington Volunteer Fire Department practice field with a 5K run/walk registration at 7:30 a.m., and race to follow at 8 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., pancakes hot off the griddle will be ready until all the food is gone.
Registration for the motorcycle poker run begins at 10:30 a.m., with kickstands up at 11 a.m. That evening, the second-annual silent and live auction event starts with a social hour and menu available from 6 to 7 p.m. at 307 Sports Bar & Grill, followed by a 50/50 drawing and 7:17 p.m. sharp auction start time.
All events are free-will donations via cash, check or Paypal.
“The fundraiser has changed just a little every year,” Gracie’s Promise President Dan Doherty said. “Originally, it started 9 years ago now. My wife, myself, and my son started in Greeley, Colo. for the first two years. It worked pretty well, except it was just the three of us running it.”
While Doherty lives in Greeley, he moved the event to Torrington, where he said the family has a bigger support system of volunteers.
“It’s done as well for us in Torrington as it did in Greeley, as far as monetary gain,” Doherty said. “We do three big fundraisers a year, and this is usually the largest of three. There’s a lot of participation, and lots of community support.”
Gracie’s Promise is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that provides financial assistance to families with children 18 years of age or younger who are suffering from catastrophic medical circumstances.
Torrington resident Bud Watson started the organization after his great-granddaughter, Gracie Claborn, was diagnosed with a lung tumor and leukemia in 2009. Doherty is Gracie’s grandfather, and said she is planning on running in the 5K with her cousin this year.
“We’re Torrington-based, Torrington-founded, and the majority of active board members and support members live here,” Doherty said. “Gracie’s Promise is an all-volunteer organization that helps and turns much of its money back to the same community that provided it.”