Annual Event Honors Hailey's Gift of Life

Do you have an orange donor dot on your driver's license?BELOIT – The fourth annual Hailey Rath Memorial Event is Saturday, August 21 at The Rock in Beloit. This event has expanded every year with gracious donations from people and businesses in the area.


Hailey’s Memorial Event honors her joy for life and her final gift as an organ and tissue donor. Today a young teen in Michigan listens to Hailey’s heart beating in her chest, thankful for her second chance at life. Hailey’s kidneys and liver went to people in Wisconsin who were on the national United Network for Organ Sharing waiting list. An additional 70 people received tissue transplants from Hailey, according to Hailey’s father, Jeff Rath.


The Rath family has been overwhelmed by the impact of Hailey’s donation. They continuously dedicate their time to organizing the annual event that honors Hailey and working to promote organ donation.


“Hailey’s donation has changed so many people’s lives, especially ours,” Jeff Rath said.


“We want more people to talk about organ and tissue donation; and have them put their orange donor dot on their license and register online at the Donate Life Wisconsin/Donor Registry. By holding this big event, everyone can remember Hailey, and how her decision changed the world. They can also learn about organ and tissue donation, and have a really good time at the run/walk and listening to great music.”


The memorial event, which started in 2007, will include a 5K race/walk, music, food and fun for all ages.

The Rock, one of Beloit’s riverside venues, will provide food specials at their outdoor patio. The event committee worked with dozens of area businesses to arrange for tents, electrical and technical needs, food specials, door prizes and chance giveaways. There will also be a bounce house, arts and crafts and face painting from 1-3pm for children to enjoy.


“Throughout Hailey’s experience, we were overwhelmed by the support shown by our community,” Jeff Rath said. “Every year the event gets bigger and better.”


The run/walk, which starts at 7:30am, will begin at The Rock. Registration begins at 7am, and registration forms also are available online at The top three finishers in the race will receive cash prizes.


The music begins at 11am when Jamie Campbell Band will play their brand of classic country vocals with elements of modern Rock. From 1:30-3:30pm, the Dinosaurs will play the blues. Members of the Dinosaurs include Matt Goodwin, Dick Armstrong, Big Mac McKearn and Dave Hernandez, former members of other local bands Sleeper and Night Owl. Closing the night performances will be 29 and Holding, who will take the stage at 4:30pm.


Since its inception, the event has raised more than $40,000. The event proceeds go to the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization Donor Education Fund, whose mission is to increase organ donation. Additional funds go to scholarships in memory of Hailey. Businesses who wish to learn more about sponsorship opportunities may contact committee member Lori Katterhenry at 608-751-8536.

Date Published: 08/19/2010

News tag(s):  transplantopo

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