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St. Jude

Give a Little Bit – Country Music Marathon

by Advance Financial | May 2nd, 2014

Saturday, April 26th marked the 15th Annual Country Music Marathon. More than 30,000 wheelchairs, runners and walkers made their way through the city of Nashville. Participants were from more than 50 states and 23 countries with 70% being from out of town. In addition to raising money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which faces daily operating cost of $1.8 million, the city of Nashville benefited as well with participants booking more than 25,000 hotel rooms, eating at restaurants and spending tourism dollars in our great city.

Advance Financial had more than 25 volunteers come to hand out orange slices and cheer on participants at our store on the corner Rosa Parks and Jefferson St. Our night shift teller began slicing oranges around 3:00 am and the rest of the volunteers began arriving around 6:30 am (which was no easy task considering all the road closures). We all got to slicing, putting up our tent and waiting with anticipation for the first runners to come through.

advance financial employees slicing oranges

DJ Twoee joined us and started pumping out the tunes. We were located at mile 11 for both the marathon and half marathon, and at about mile 15.5 for the full marathon runners. The first runners started to come through around 8:00. We began with about 500 oranges and went through those pretty quickly. After three trips to area grocery stores (and actually buying one of them out) we purchased approximately 1,000 more oranges. That’s approximately 12,000 orange slices. The runners were so appreciative.

Everyone worked extremely hard, but it was all worth it. Our CEO, Tina Hodges, was also able to put her nursing skills to work by helping one woman with a horrible leg cramp. It’s so rewarding when we get together as a group to give back to the community. We always have a great time.

Advance Financial CEO, Tina Hodges, helping a runner with leg cramp

The weather was perfect. Scott Wietecha and Jeanette Faber were the men’s and women’s winners in the full marathon and Joseph Chebet and Gisela Olalde were the winners in the half marathon. View a full set of race results. In true Nashville fashion, there was live music at every mile and the day was followed by a celebratory concert that evening featuring, among others, some of the stars of the hit show Nashville.

There are any number of reasons to run a marathon (or half marathon), one of which may be just to learn what it means to not give up. The children and families of St. Jude know this better than most. They and their families face horrible circumstances everyday and never stop hoping, never stop believing, never stop running the race. Nashville is proud to help St. Jude achieve the goal of finding cures and saving the lives of children battling cancer and other deadly diseases. What a great way to spend a Saturday.

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Nashville’s Country Music Marathon – Going the Extra Mile

by Advance Financial | April 22nd, 2014

volunteer for nashville's country music marathon

On April 26, thousands of people will run 26.2 miles through the streets of Nashville for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon. Those thousands of people will have spent countless hours preparing for a grueling yet rewarding race, as the finish line signals a triumph. But many aren’t running for themselves, or to better their personal best; they’re running for a reason or a cause.

We’d like to thank these people who’ve trained while the rest of us were still sleeping, put in the hours on the treadmill when the rest of us were watching TV, or spent time in the gym when the rest of us were enjoying a relaxing lunch hour.

At Advance Financial, we believe in going the extra mile. In fact, when you go through training prior to your employment at AF, you learn about how much importance AF places on giving back to the community. That commitment is honored by offering all employees of Advance Financial 40 hours per year of volunteer time off.

Going the Extra Mile

Giving back, and going the extra mile, is (quite literally) what the St. Jude Heroes are all about. If you’re not familiar with the term, a St. Jude Hero is someone who runs the race to help raise funds for the families and patients of St. Jude. As the official website states:

They help St. Jude make sure that no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing and food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

Find out more about St. Jude Heroes, who are running for the kids of St. Jude. If you want to help a St Jude Hero raise funds, you can visit the participant page and donate. Some of the teams include:

These teams include individuals who work for companies, are friends, know each other socially, but also have one common goal – to make sure no child goes without medical treatment at St. Jude’s.

Even if you’re not running, you can still help be a part of the event and help make it a success. The organizers are always looking for volunteers on race day, and that includes being part of the race crew or signing up to be a medical volunteer. You can sign up for both of these volunteer positions on the volunteer program overview page, where you can volunteer as a group or as an individual.

Whether you’re a runner, a spectator, or a volunteer, we hope you’ll enjoy this weekend’s race. Don’t forget to watch for our blog post later this week about how the race may impact you.

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