Ben’s Gift Gives Local Students a Chance to Make a Difference

Silver Spring-based nonprofit's t-shirt contest helps benefit Children’s National Medical Center.

Ben Goldfogle was just shy of his 12th birthday when he lost his battle to Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2009. After his death, his family knew they wanted to do something to honor his life and the lives of other kids battling life-threatening illnesses.

In 2010, Ben’s mom, Clare, along with , an annual race in the Stonegate neighborhood of Silver Spring where Ben grew up, that raises money for Children’s National Medical Center. A nonprofit known as Ben's Gift Inc. was created this year. 

For the first time, Ben’s Gift is giving community youth a chance to be more active in the creative process for Ben’s Run. Local students, ages 9 to 15, had the opportunity to enter a t-shirt design contest. Walkers and runners will wear the winning t-shirt design on race day. 

“Our goal is to have our t-shirts look different from year to year,” said Goldfogle.

Ben would have been 15 years old this past October, Goldfogle said, which is why she wanted to cut off contest participation at that age. 

“[The group] would have encompassed his age group and we didn’t want to make the age range too broad because the little kids would have to compete with the older kids,” added Goldfogle.

This year’s contest received 10 designs from students and Goldfogle is hoping the idea will catch on to more students next year. The winning t-shirt will be announced this month with the other designs being showcased on race day—April 20, 2013.

Information on how to be a part of Ben’s Gift or how to register for Ben’s Run, which is held at Stonegate Elementary School, can be found on the organization’s website.

All proceeds will benefit Children’s National Medical Center, and, for the first time, race participants next year can be sponsored by other people or organizations. The funds will still go towards Children's and the racer's registration fee.


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