The Impact of the Empowerment Patch


Last year in the midst of all the craziness of 2020, we announced our first ever National Charity Partner. As we head into our 2021 season, we’re thrilled to have Girls on the Run back once again! We at Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run have always admired their commitment and couldn’t be happier to support their efforts through our events. With them, we created the Empowerment Patch, which is what we call our dedicated group of fundraisers.

As an organization, Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Their programs teach girls to activate their limitless potential through goal setting, training, and ultimately completing a non-competitive 5K event at the end of the program. Completing the 5K provides a tangible sense of accomplishment, setting a goal-oriented mindset into motion. As for us, we have always strived to welcome anyone and everyone. Whether this is your first 5K or you are a regular weekend athlete, we want to encourage all people to be active and have fun while doing so! 

Read on to learn how our partnership works and how you can make an impact.

The Partnership 

As mentioned above, Girls on the Run and Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run began their partnership last year. We had plans to host them at all of our location-based events and, of course, participate in the Virtual Run. They were named as our first-ever National Charity Partner, meaning they were the only official charity associated with our event series. We would offer donation options during the registration process, create an easy to follow and effective fundraising option for participants, and make a per-registrant donation at the end of the year. At the actual events, they would have their local councils there, send volunteers to help make the event rock, and even have some cheer sections with girls that are involved with the program.

That was all before we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel all location-based events and shift fully virtual. Luckily, Gourdy has been doing his version of the Virtual Run since 2016, so we didn’t miss a beat! Girls on the Run was fully onboard and we set a goal for raising $50,000 through the Virtual Run alone. As we worked tirelessly promoting the event as well as fundraising, we ended up raising just over $230,000!

With such enthusiasm from runners and walkers like you, we’re ready to continue making an impact and hope to raise even more in 2021. We have several great ways you can help make that impact, so please read on and consider the options below!

Gourdys Virtual 5K Run

Become a Fundraiser

During registration you will have the opportunity to sign up to fundraise for Girls on the Run and become part of the Empowerment Patch. By fundraising, you’re making a greater impact into the organization and changing the lives of the girls who participate. Once you raise $250, you’ll receive a refund of your registration fee to this year’s run. Here are the quick and easy steps to becoming a fundraiser:

  • When you sign up for Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run, choose the ‘Fundraise for Girls on the Run’ option.
  • During the registration process, you will reach a few steps prompting you to donate and set-up a fundraising page. This is the page your friends and family will see when you ask them to donate to your fundraiser. There is auto-populated content, but you can customize however you’d like!
  • Set a goal.  The starting goal is $250, but you are encouraged to aim higher! Why? Because not only will you make that much MORE of an impact, but you’ll also receive exciting incentives for hitting $250, $425, $750, and $1,000+!  Keep reading to see what these incentives are!
  • Once you finish your registration for Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run, your fundraising page will be live! You’ll receive an email with the link to your page, fundraising tips, and general support to help you reach your goal!

A few things to note is that there are no minimum amounts you’re held to. If you end up only raising $5, it’s totally fine. Every dollar matters. Also, the fundraising option is available for both the location-based events as well as the Virtual Run. Simply choose the fundraising event option when you go to sign up!


The more donations you bring in for Girls on the Run, the sweeter it gets for you! Besides helping empower girls through the sport of running, you’ll receive some incentives for yourself:

  • Raise $250: Refund of your registration and an exclusive Girls on the Run® & Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run medal*
  • Raise $425: Exclusive Girls on the Run & Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run Training Shirt*
  • Raise $750: Exclusive Girls on the Run & Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run Crewneck Sweater*
  • Raise $1,000: Exclusive Girls on the Run & Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run Big Comfy Hoodie*

*Refund is for your base registration fee. Add-ons like Tough Pumpkin and other merchandise will not be included. All exclusive Girls on the Run & Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run merchandise earned will ship to you at the end of the fundraising period (11/21/2021). This allows you time past your race day to continue raising funds and earning more incentives!

We’re in this Together

Girls on the Run and Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run will be by your side to help you reach your goal. We’ll send you best practices and easy ways to get donations (psst….sharing your fundraiser through social media will make a BIG difference!) Although we encourage you to reach your goal (because we know you are so much more capable than you think!), please know that you are not financially held to it. If you don’t hit your goal, no worries. You are still making a big difference in empowering the next generation of strong, confident, healthy, and brave women!

Other Ways to Make an Impact

If fundraising isn’t your thing, no worries! There are three other ways you can help:

  • Sign Up for a Race. When you go to sign up for Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run, you’ll have an opportunity to donate directly to Girls on the Run. You can donate any amount, as it will make a difference, or choose from one of the predetermined amounts that help directly with a need, such as a water bottle or a pair of shoes for a girl! And of course, it is completely optional. Plus, Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run is donating $1 for every single registration this fall!
  • Quick Donation. Of course, you can always make a quick and simple donation without signing up for the 5K. Click here to make a quick donation to Girls on the Run.
  • Volunteer. Our location-based events always need volunteers to make it happen. Help out at one of our events this fall and we’ll make a donation to Girls on the Run on your behalf. Plus, you’ll receive a cozy longsleeved shirt and beanie to keep. Check out all the event locations here, click the ‘Volunteer’ button, and sign up for a shift!


We’re hard at work preparing for a great event season and a great partnership. We hope you can join us in some fashion and help make an impact. As always, feel free to send questions to [email protected]




I hope they’re pumpkin spice flavored!

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