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Posted on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

Text of email informing Big House Big Heart supporters about cancellation

By Kellie Woodhouse

The following is an email sent by Champions For Charity staff to Big House Big Heart supporters informing them of the event's cancellation. The email was sent Tuesday morning.

Dear Big House Big Heart Participant,

We apologize ahead for a lengthy email. It is with sadness that we announce that University of Michigan Athletics has decided that Big House Big Heart no longer fits into its charitable mission and therefore the race cannot finish in the Big House. At a meeting on Nov. 30 with two representatives of the Brandon Administration, Chrissi Rawak, Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Development and Rob Rademacker, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations, we were told, "our decision was based on a several month long evaluation of our charitable work and relationships and need to streamline and organize those efforts. Unfortunately, the run doesn't fit into those plans."

We made it clear how much the race means to each participant, volunteer, committee member and the many charities (over 175) which count of substantial fund-raising from BHBH. We offered to give UM Athletics the race if they would continue to allow it to finish in the stadium. CFC was not made aware of any charitable assessment process. While we were advised BHBH would again be Spring Football Game Weekend, and of the rental price of the stadium, we had been waiting for several weeks for the final "OK" so that we could open registration and begin promoting the race, as well as helping non-profits build their fund-raising teams.

CFC has been very appreciative of being able to finish the BHBH race in the stadium these last 6 years and have been diligent to leave the stadium in better shape than when we entered. We know the extraordinary race finish has always been dependent on UM Athletics allowing access to the stadium and that priorities do change with administration changes.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the thousands of people who were inspired by the race, the hundreds of local charities the race has helped by raising over $3.5 Million for them. We also want to thank the over 1,000 volunteers and committee members who have worked diligently to make this event "the premiere event in Ann Arbor", as tagged by President Mary Sue Coleman. We are so proud that Big House Big Heart touched so many lives over the years, including the many young CS Mott patients who, along with their families and representatives from nearly every UM Athletic team supporting them, did the MOTT MILE at BHBH. We appreciate the many UM coaches and student athletes who have helped with various aspects of the race. We thank the troops in Afghanistan that worked with CFC to organize the BHBH race at their camp to raise money for ALS research. We wish to thank the classes at University of Michigan spending their semester studying and helping to plan BHBH. We especially would like to thank University of Michigan's Provost, Phil Hanlon and CFO, Tim Slottow and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Ora Pescovitz for sponsoring the Go Maize and Go Blue Challenges for several years. They challenged each of the 19 UM Schools, colleges and all departments to compete with one another for participation in BHBH and for volunteerism. The 2012 winners were: Go Blue Award-Ross School of Business and CS Mott Pediatrics; the Go Maize Volunteerism award went to UM Athletics for the most volunteers. We would also like to thank M Healthy for using BHBH as the training event they have used as a healthy challenge. Lastly, we wish to thank our many local vendors and sponsors for your incredible support through the years. Big House Big Heart has been an amazing, inspiring event because of all of you.

For all non-profits, please consider using The Ann Arbor Marathon and the rest of the CFC 2013 events as your fund-raiser. We plan to add the "all charity" component to each event. Details will be sent with an invitation for all non profits to attend our annual Non Profit Fundraising meeting on January 15th.

Champions For Charity is proud that through BHBH we have raised collectively hundreds of thousands of dollars for the UM Program For Neurology Research & Discovery, for UM Cardiovascular Center and for C.S Mott Children's Hospital as well as the Glenn E. "Bo" Schembechler Endowed Scholarship. CFC plans to continue serving the community with our upcoming events. Thank you for sharing your stories with us-your reasons for running the BHBH. You have been an inspiration to us!

If you wish to contact CFC about BHBH, please email andrea@champsforcharity. If you have questions about the UM Athletic's decision, please contact them.


Your Champions For Charity Crew


Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

BHBH was a wonderful charitable event and touched so many lives positively! So sad.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

"Lame," indeed. Does one suppose that some day candor will emerge, that someone will reveal the REAL reason for this rejection? By the way, who really pays for all those over-the-top, fancy scoreboards that are not needed?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

If it took months of study to determine a charity run ending in the BH no longer fit the department's mission, it must have taken years of study, then, to decide to put the large sign out front - given the costs involved. And perhaps it took decades of studies to decide to put 100s of millions into facilities renovation. The athletic department must be a bureaucratic nightmare, or somebody's blowing smoke and sees more dollars from a nationwide charity with a much higher overhead and bigger payday for partners.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

This is LAME!!