The Positive Tracks concept was conceived in 2009 at the CHaD Hero Half Marathon & Ripcord 5K, a fundraising event benefiting CHaD, the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The first Positive Tracks Challenge originated as a community rally supporting a nine year-old young leukemia patient named Cameron Marshall.
It rained that year, hard. So hard that the inaugural Cam’s Course lost power and sound. But hundreds of families showed up to run for Cam, anyway. Cam – very ill – came too, and was carried through the finish line by his school principal, to the sound of hundreds of his friends humming Chariots Of Fire. That heart-wrenching moment revealed how an athletic effort can be a powerful gesture of hope, a compelling means of supporting a friend and the worthy organization helping him.
The inaugural Cam’s Course evidenced how one small act of reaching out can lead to large-scale community action. The fact is: people want to help people. Kids want to help kids. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to get us moving in the right direction. Cam’s Course, and the community’s reaction to Cam’s Course, planted the seed for Positive Tracks.
The following year, CHaD was awarded its first Positive Tracks Matching Challenge Grant that doubled funds raised by CHaD Hero Half Marathon participants age 23 or under. Young people were given “fundraising wings”, so their efforts made significant impact on an organization close to their hearts.
When CHaD Hero Half Marathon participants successfully met the $100,000 Positive Tracks Matching Challenge in 2010, the enthusiasm spread to include additional partners and multiple means of fundraising.
In 2011, The Dempsey Challenge, benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, ME, became the second founding Positive Tracks event partner. Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo, in Santa Rosa, CA; and the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament in Jericho, VT, joined Positive Tracks as third and fourth charitable event partners in 2012.
In 2013, Positive Tracks enters four new partnerships with Grassroot Soccer, Lacrosse the Nations, Ride 2 Recovery, and Turtle Ridge Foundation’s, BodeFest.
Positive Tracks has grown from a local community initiative to a flourishing organization with a growing presence.
The Children's Fund donates $20,000 per year to the Chad Half Marathon and these funds are matched 1:1 by Positive Tracks. By partnering with this organization, we are helping kids to get active and give back.