Charity Partners

IMPORTANT: The Charity Partner Program is full for the 2021 Grandma’s Marathon weekend. Thank you for your interest. Please check back in the Fall of 2021 for information about 2022.

Our Charity Partners are working to make the world better every day.

At Grandma’s Marathon, we believe in the power of transformation. It begins the day you register and grows every morning you lace up those shoes and step out the door. The strength, endurance and confidence that you develop through training extend far beyond the finish line. Our Charity Partners Program enables you to share that life-changing experience by making a difference in someone’s life as you transform your own.

Guidelines for Runners

Our Charity Partners Program connects the philanthropic community with passionate race participants willing to fundraise and raise awareness for meaningful causes. Each charity has a number of entries to Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and some now even have entries to the William A. Irvin 5K! Interested runners can select a charity of their choice, fundraise to meet their charity’s minimum amount, earn a charity registration code, and then officially register for their race following the instructions provided by the Charity.

A list of our 2021 Charity Partners is below. To receive a complimentary entry and fundraise for a charity, please follow these steps:

1. LEARN MORE: Fundraising Guidelines

Each charity has its own process for getting runners on board based on their fundraising guidelines. To learn more about each charity’s fundraising goals and guidelines, please reach out the the Charity contact person listed below.

2. SHOW INTEREST: Contact the Charity

Email or call the Charity Contact listed below. The charity will follow up with details on becoming one of their charity running champions. If you do not hear from the charity within (3) business days, please contact our Registration and Expo Director Laura Bergen via email at

3. COMMIT: Charity Fundraising

Notify the charity of your commitment to running and raising funds on their behalf. Charity bib numbers are not reserved until the runner commits to the charity’s guidelines and fundraising has started.

4. FUNDRAISE: Meet Goal & Earn Entry

Start fundraising to meet the minimum fundraising requirement as established by the charity of your choice. Once the minimum amount is met, the charity will send you specific registration instructions along with the official Grandma’s Marathon registration code to complete your guaranteed FREE entry. Please note – charity runners must meet guidelines and officially register prior to the code’s expiration at 11:59 p.m. on May 7, 2021.

5. MAKE IT OFFICIAL: Register & Redeem Charity Code

Follow the specific instructions provided by your charity to officially register for your Grandma’s Marathon’s weekend race. PLEASE NOTE: Any additional registration options or fees associated with the runner’s failure to use registration instructions and code correctly will not be reimbursed. Check your email for a confirmation from Race Roster and you’re on your way to the finish line!

2021 Charity Partners

American Cancer Society
Jessica Bloodgood
(312) 279-7229

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Cassandra Linkenmeyer
(507) 721-8246

Laura Hancock
(240) 235-2210

Human Development Center
Chloe Strand
(218) 728-4491

Life House
Jordan Johnson
(218) 722-7431 ext. 111

Make a Wish Minnesota
Alicia Wiesneth
(612) 767-9474

Move for Hunger
Margo Ciancinetta
(732) 774-0521

Rachel Netzel-Gustafson
(218) 726-1442

Ronald McDonald House Charities – Upper Midwest
Kailyn Backus
(612) 331-5752

Scleroderma Foundation
Kevin Berg
(218) 393-0225

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)
Linda Lurie Mars
(952) 946-7998

Special Olympics Minnesota
Maureen Gruys
(763) 270-7146

The North Stands
Eli Fhima
(651) 490-6855

UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation
Paruj Acharya
(763) 478-1406

Young Athletes Foundation
Laura Bergen
(218) 727-0947