Obliteride, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s annual fundraiser and community event, will be a virtual experience again for 2021 — uniting participants worldwide of all ages and abilities to support cancer research.
Now in its ninth year, Obliteride typically welcomes thousands of participants to Seattle to bike, walk, or run and to fundraise for cancer research. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led organizers to replace the in-person event with a successful virtual season. A record 3,197 people of all ages — from all 50 U.S. states, 17 countries and all seven continents — biked, walked, kayaked, climbed, swam and more. They were supported by more than 13,000 donors and raised more than $3.2 million for lifesaving research.
“Last year we had to completely reimagine the event due to the pandemic,” said Jim Birrell, director of Obliteride. “But the enthusiasm and creativity of our participants was remarkable, and we want to encourage that again.”
The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to begin planning the event early in 2020, and Fred Hutch’s commitment to participant safety led to the decision to hold a virtual Obliteride, Birrell said.
Since 2013, Obliteride has welcomed more than 17,000 participants, 73,000 donors, hundreds of volunteers, and dozens of sponsors and raised more than $32 million for research. With support from sponsors, all participant-raised dollars go directly to Fred Hutch scientists, speeding research to prevent, treat and speed cures for cancer, HIV, COVID-19 and other diseases.
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