In Gresham’s first-ever Lilac Run, 100% of Unitus’ sponsorship money goes to helping kids

Unitus sponsors City of Gresham’s first-ever Lilac Run, raising money for Family of Friends Mentoring, a nonprofit helping marginalized children thrive in Multnomah County.

PORTLAND, OR (April 19, 2019) — For the first time ever, the City of Gresham hosted a 5k, 10k, and half-marathon run/walk this weekend aptly named the Lilac Run. Unitus supported the cause with mid-race refreshments, motivational cheers, and sponsorship money to help make it happen.

The event came only a week after Unitus made a splash with the Grand Opening Celebration of their new Gresham branch at 950 NW Eastman Pkwy. “Contributing to the City of Gresham’s long, proud heritage is truly an honor,” said Steve Stapp, Unitus President and CEO. “This thriving community has a very bright future, and the Lilac Run is one example of the important work they’re doing to improve life in the community. By the responses we’ve gotten from decades-long Unitus members, this is going to be a cherished partnership long into the future.”

Sasha Konell, Community Marketing Specialist at the City of Gresham, was instrumental in coordinating the run. “Given our Mayor and City Council’s vision for the overall wellness of children and families, it is important to host events like the Gresham Lilac Run so everyone has an opportunity to be a part of such a fun and active event,” she said. “Because this run had a 5K, 10K and half marathon course, as well as a free Little Lilac 1K course, there really was something for everyone.”

The event also served as a tribute to the proud history and promising future of the City of Gresham. It was named after the city’s official flower, the sweet-scented lilac. Route planners specifically directed the race to feature Gresham’s natural gems, including Wy’East Way, the Spring Water Corridor, and the Gresham Butte Saddle Trail. Fittingly, the race began and ended on the hallowed grounds of Gresham City Hall.

One of the most unique aspects of the run was its uncompromising philanthropy. “Because this event was completely funded by sponsorship support thanks to our amazing community partners, all race participation fees go directly to Family of Friends Mentoring to help them elevate children and families all over Multnomah County,” added Konell. “The work they do is so powerful because they are creating stronger family relationships, which make our community stronger today and for years to come!”

About Unitus Community Credit Union

At Unitus, we’re dedicated to improving lives in the communities we serve. As a member-owned  local credit union, we invest in people by doing the right thing. Through partnerships with nonprofit  organizations, we provide support for community groups through volunteerism and financial  donations. Our 104,000 members count on us to serve them and their communities; our 300+ employees share that passion for service. Learn about the local impact Unitus makes by visiting

About Family of Friends Mentoring

Family of Friends envisions a world where every child and family has access to responsive systems that help them live healthy, meaningful, and productive lives. After 13 years under Trillium Family Services, we now work in partnership with the City of Gresham, Multnomah County SUN programs and local school districts and businesses to create a community of adult support around kids in East County in order to help them thrive. Through weekly activities with mentors, kids become more future-oriented, build grit and persistence, and learn to build a trusted relationship with an advocate for their future. Learn more at


Autumn Foster

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