Event History and Photos

Race History
The Race for Hope DC is celebrating 25 years of supporting brain tumor research. The Race is one of Washington, DC’s most successful volunteer events, raising over $34 million in 25 years, and it is one of the country’s largest fundraisers for the brain tumor community. The Race is organized by volunteers and benefits the National Brain Tumor Society

The Beginning
The Race for Hope was founded by Nike Beddow, Dana Daczkowski, and Lionel and Sandy Chaiken. Lionel and Sandy lost their 31-year-old daughter, Pamela, to a brain tumor and began to raise funds for research in her memory. Dana was five years into her own battle with brain cancer and wanted to raise public awareness of this devastating disease. She and her sister, Nike, decided that a 5K run/walk would be a healthy way to reach other patients, survivors and their families.

Nike and Dana connected with Lionel and Sandy through the Brain Tumor Society, and the Race was launched. That first Race for Hope DC raised more than $65,000 for the Brain Tumor Society. Sadly, Dana passed away later that year. Barry Glassman, a long-time supporter of the Brain Tumor Society, got involved to raise the profile of the event.

Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers became the title sponsor in 2000 in honor of co-founder Pat Cassidy, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Pat passed away in 2001. The event continued to grow in attendance and dollars raised through these early years.

The Race for Hope DC partnered with the Brain Tumor Research Trust, an organization founded by survivor Jeffrey Kolodin and the family of the late Rabbi Joseph P. Weinberg.

With the addition of the Golf for Hope event, the Race for Hope - DC broke the $1 million fundraising mark with its 2005 event!

In its tenth year, the Race for Hope DC raised $1.5 million in support of the brain tumor community. Proceeds from the Race continued to benefit the Brain Tumor Society’s funding for innovative brain tumor research and support services for families already affected by this devastating disease, and, for the first time, also supported ABC2’s entrepreneurial, high- risk, high-reward approach to speeding new treatments for brain cancer patients. 

Nearly 10,000 people, including American Idol David Cook, braved the elements to support the brain tumor community. The record turnout and unprecedented media coverage helped the Race break the $2 million mark for the first time.

Nearly 10,000 participants supported the 19th Annual Race for Hope DC on May 1, 2016. Runners, walkers, sponsors, and volunteers gathered at Freedom Plaza in celebration of survivors and loved ones and helped raised over $2.1 million. Vice-President Joe Biden and family accepted the Triumph of the Spirit Award. 

The Race for Hope celebrated it's 20th Anniversary on May 7, 2017. See Race Video and 2017 Race Pictures. 

Following the 2019 Race for Hope DC, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) announced it will be formally closing as a nonprofit organization at the end of 2019 after reaching key accomplishments. However, both ABC2 and the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) are working as partners to ensure that the Race for Hope DC will continue in the same manner and spirit embraced by the volunteer community over the past two decades. Going forward, Race for Hope DC will benefit the research and programs of NBTS in 2020 and beyond. The two organizations have agreed to ensure the revenue raised will be applied to research and programs in a manner consistent with the entrepreneurial vision of ABC2, and the shared commitment of both ABC2 and NBTS to best-in-class science and service to the community.

Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the NBTS merged all spring regional fundraising events into one as the National Brain Tumor Walk & Race for Hope-DC. Thousands of participants from around the country joined forces virtually to raise more than $1 million for brain tumor research.