New Year’s Eve – December  31, 2019

Downtown Sportsbarn | 4-mile run and 2-mile fun run/walk

Since 1979, the Karen Lawrence Run has been held on New Year’s Eve in Chattanooga hosted by the downtown Sportsbarn. Karen Lawrence, at the age of 11 and having battled acute lymphocytic leukemia for the past year and a half, started the first race.  Less than 3 months later Karen lost her battle, and the Lawrence Family has proudly been carrying on the tradition since.  It is in her honor and with her courage of conviction that family, friends and scores of volunteers and supporters have given of their time, talent and resources to keep this event going year to year.

The love and compassion of the city behind these efforts, the many generous sponsors who have helped defer the cost of the event, and the faithfulness of the participants have made it possible to give to the beneficiary for 35 years—St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—in excess of $750,000. It was Karen’s dream to “give back” to the hospital that so desperately tried to save her life.

In 2014, the Lawrence Family chose a new sole beneficiary, a local organization that has also been close to their hearts—Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Greater Chattanooga.  The Ronald McDonald House keeps families of critically-ill children together and allows them to fully participate in their child’s medical care, so it is fitting that a family so dedicated to causes such as these would continue Karen’s legacy in Chattanooga.