NEW ORLEANS, La., (August 3, 2012) - On Saturday, September 22, local citizens, area realtors and law enforcement will race down historic Canal Street, in an effort to raise tens of thousands of dollars to support Crimestoppers GNO, a local non-profit that aids in preventing and solving crimes. The Canal Street Race for Crimestoppers GNO is being organized by the Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors. Together, CID and the National Association of Realtors® are providing $10,500 in initial sponsorship funds. CID plans to raise up to $50,000 in additional sponsorships from the local community.
According to Frann Ryan, President of Commercial Investment Division (CID), "While Realtors are encouraged by the great strides the New Orleans region has made since the devastation of Katrina, we are deeply concerned by the rate of violent crime in our community. It can be a deterrent to greater economic growth and opportunity for our citizens. New Orleans is at or near the top of many positive lists, but being Number One in murders is not something to be tolerated. Like other citizens, Realtors are saddened and frustrated by the situation. The recent killing of a five-year-old at a birthday party is just the most recent example of a long string of horrendous acts."
A foot race was selected by CID as a means of raising funds because of its ability to attract wide participation by the public, including youth and seniors. While CID will be approaching businesses and institutions for large sponsorship contributions, individuals can show their support for the effort to "stop the violence" by paying the registration fee and participating in the race, at whatever pace is comfortable for them. All money raised will go directly to Crimestoppers. New Orleans Running Sports, Inc. is handling all race logistics.
The 5K course will begin at the Central Parking ground level lot adjacent to Saks Fifth Avenue near the foot of Canal Street and extend up as far as Galvez, before returning back to the start in front of the Shops at Canal Place. A one-mile course will also be included. The Canal Street route was selected for several reasons: It brings participants to the commercial heart of the city; it passes through diverse neighborhoods and is a unique locale for runners. The route back towards downtown, especially, will provide dramatic views of the cityscape. There will also be a post-race party with music by Louisiana's own Rockin' Dopsie, and food from Mondo and other top restaurants in the city.
"Crimestoppers could not do its job in protecting our citizens without the hard work of our dedicated law enforcement and first responders," says Crimestoppers President and CEO Darlene Cusanza. "In order to show our community's appreciation for their service, we will provide an opportunity for citizens to pledge their support behind their favorite law enforcement or first responders' race team. We are currently posting the names and photos of the competing teams on www.crimestoppersgno.org, and
www.facebook.com/CanalStreetRaceforCrimestoppersGNO, and asking citizens to get behind their favorite team by making a monetary donation. The first and second place winning teams will receive cash prizes as well as others in recognition of their contribution."
In addition to registering for the race at www.NOLArunning.com or by mail at Crimestoppers GNO, P.O. Box 55249, Metairie, LA 70055-5249, citizens are also encouraged to consider making a pledge to Crimestoppers in memory of a crime victim. Crimestoppers plays a crucial role in supporting families in their fight for justice and a donation in memory of a victim will provide additional recognition to that victim's story. "In Memoriam" donations can be made through the online race registration process or directly to Crimestoppers.
CID challenges other local trade associations and corporations to do what they can to improve the quality of life for citizens of the New Orleans region, whether it's by becoming a generous sponsor of the Canal Street Race for Crimestoppers GNO or by working in other ways to attack the causes and consequences of crime. There are many local organizations already working on mentorship, education, job training and other efforts that deserve more support.
Crimestoppers, Inc., is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, citizen-run organization which, over the past 30 years, has assisted law enforcement in solving over 12,000 felony crimes by paying rewards for anonymous tips. Other Crimestoppers initiatives that Realtors support include the Safe School Hotline, Teen Ambassadors Against Crime, the annual Teen Peace Summit, and training in conflict resolution. These types of grass-roots efforts with young people are essential to changing our city's culture of violence.
For further information about the event contact Frann Ryan, President of CID, at 504-872-0406; Jim Stratton, Chairman of the Service to the Community committee, at 504-861-7575; or Bob Stevens, 2011 CID President, at 504-888-6788.
Sponsors for the 2012 Canal Street Race to Stop the Violence include: Commercial Investment Division (CID) of the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, Abita Beer, Phidippides, Darryl Berger Companies, Abita Root Beer, River parish Disposal, Kentwood Springs, Elmer's CheeWees, Gertrude Gardner Realtors, Gertrude Gardner Foundation, Keating Magee Marketing Communications, Central Parking System, and the Shops at Canal Place.