The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder

There is a VBF Walk / Run for for everyone!

Interested in hosting a race of your own?

You can invite your whole city to a competitive 5K at a public park, or just your close family and friends for a stroller-friendly family fun walk through your own neighborhood.

No time to plan a race?

Join families across the country by hosting a Virtual Purple Polka Dot Race, and get your state or country represented.

Jody Lee founded the Purple Polka Dot Race in 2015 to honor her daughter, Meghana, who was born with a port-wine stain. Four years later, the annual PPD run at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan has a HUGE following of dedicated supporters – both virtual and in-person. Today, the race is one of the largest and most successful national events held to raise awareness and funds for VBF’s mission.

Read more below about how YOU can raise awareness for vascular birthmarks by hosting a virtual race, planning your own run / walk, or supporting the Purple Polka Dot Race itself. All proceeds donated to VBF will go directly towards our mission of helping those affected by vascular birthmarks.



HOST A VIRTUAL RACE

This year, the Lee Family’s goal is to have a virtual PPD Walk / Run in all 50 states and around the world to ensure that Meghana’s inspirational message of acceptance and hope is shared far and wide. Ask your family and friends near and far to register as a VIRTUAL RACE PARTICIPANT.

How do I register?

Register as a Virtual Race Participant here. Share the registration link with your family and friends to create a virtual race team from anywhere in the world.

What are the perks of being a virtual runner?

Every virtual race participants who registers early will be mailed a SWAG BAG, which includes a PPD T-Shirt and other goodies you can rock on the day of the race from anywhere in the world to raise awareness and show your support.


PLAN YOUR OWN WALK / RUN

What are the mission and goals of the Purple Polka Dot Race?

  • Raise awareness and promote acceptance for those who have vascular birthmarks.
  • Educate your community on the medical/emotional complications that may arise.
  • State your stance on anti-bullying and the need to ask appropriate questions and accept the response without judgment.
  • Fundraise at least $500 for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to sponsor a Family to attend our annual Conference & Clinics, where they will receive free lodging, meals, admission to our conference lectures, and clinical appointments.

When should I start planning?

  • Planning should start at least 4-6 months before you plan on hosting your 5K.
  • Gather 3-5 reliable friends/family to help you throughout the race planning process.
  • You can even set up a race planning committee to divide responsibilities.

How should I choose a location?

Pick a location that is convenient and accessible for your audience. Some factors to consider in choosing a location include facility use cost, proximity of the nearest restrooms, parking, and safety for children present. Be sure to ask if your facility will waive any usage fees since you’ll be raising funds for a non-profit.

Some options include:

  • Local parks
  • Schools
  • Even your own neighborhood!
*Note that insurance may be required for your race location. If insurance is needed, please contact the VBF for assistance.

What are some of the costs associated with hosting a race?

  • Facility usage fee if needed
  • T-shirts
  • Mailing bags/postage
  • Post-5K refreshments
  • Timing company, if using one

How can I cover costs of the event itself?

Sponsorships are a great way to ensure coverage of event carrying costs, including facility rental fees. You can contact international, national or local sponsors to assist with costs related to hosting your virtual 5K walk/run. Contact at least 10-15 sponsors well in advance of your race.

Some possible sponsors include:

  • Gyms/Fitness studios
  • Grocery stores
  • Banks/Credit Unions
  • Insurance companies
  • Family friends
  • Family businesses
  • Restaurants
  • Daycare centers
  • Physician offices
  • Dermatology offices

Think of any item you use at home and contact the company!!

Note: Use the sponsor packet for the Purple Polka Dot Race as needed (with changes to incorporate your story and the details of your event).

What are some other ways I can raise funds for VBF during the event?

Raffle

Consider a raffle as another way to raise money for the families of the VBF. Raffle items can include both goods and services.

*Note that some sponsors will not give money but will offer a raffle item instead.

VBF Personal Fundraising Page

Contact VBF to set up your personal fundraising page. We can customize your fundraising page with photos, stories and details about your event. Those who wish to support your event, but cannot attend in person, can make a gift to VBF through this page. We can also work with you to process event registrations through out website.

VBF Facebook Awareness Page

Create a Facebook awareness page (Purple Polka Dot Race will help you with this). Facebook is a great way to get the word out about your event.

  • Invite family/friends to join your page
  • Update your page with your story
  • Provide updates on how the race planning is going
  • Get people excited for your event!

About the Purple Polka Dot Race

What is the Purple Polka Dot Race & how was it founded?

The Lee Family founded the Purple Polka Dot Race (PPDR) in 2015 to honor their daughter Meghana who was born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and a special birthmark on her cheek and chin that they later found out was a port wine stain (PWS). VBF was there to provide the Lee Family not only with answers to some of their questions, but also with a sense of community and support system unlike any other. Their sweet and sassy 3-year old receives laser treatments for her PWS, which cause her to have temporary purple polka dots on her face. Their mission is to raise awareness and encourage acceptance for all those out there who are also sporting their very own “purple polka dots”!

Three years later, the annual PPD run at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan has a HUGE following of dedicated supporters – both virtual and in-person, and has transformed into one of the largest and most successful national events held to raise awareness and funds for VBF. VBF is inspired by the Lee’s family’s dedication to our shared mission and is profoundly grateful for all they’ve done for VBF and our entire birthmark community.

When is the next Purple Polka Dot Race and how can I help?

The 4th Annual Purple Polka Dot Race will be on August 11, 2019 at Eastwood Beach at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan. Learn more, or Register here.

This year, the Lee Family’s goal is to have a virtual PPD Walk / Run in all 50 states and around the world to ensure that Meghana’s inspirational message of acceptance and hope is shared far and wide.

You can support the Lee Family’s race by making a donation here, or hosting a virtual PPD race of your own. Every virtual race participant will get a swag bag and T-shirt to rock not the day of the race from anywhere in the world.

For more information and updates about the Purple Polka Dot Race or to become a sponsor, please visit the Lee family’s website at: https://purplepolkadotrace.com or e-mail Jody Lee at purplepolkadotrace@gmail.com


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