George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K hits the streets Oct. 5 — this single fundraiser has raised over $500,000 for more than 60 Rochester causes

The “Philanthropy Challenge” info sessions to be held on June 25, July 24, and Aug. 22

For Release 2013-06-17

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Using social media to fundraise across generations -- in the spirit of George Eastman’s philanthropic legacy -- the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K returns for its third year Saturday, Oct. 5, to raise funds for Rochester non-profit causes. This “philanthropy challenge” is a new way of fundraising, allowing dozens of organizations to raise funds via a single event, and Rochester has embraced it. Over the past two years, nearly 2,000 runners and walkers participated in the race, raising over half a million dollars for more than 60 non-profit organizations in and around the Rochester community.

The 5K route—which is certified to be accurate by USA Track & Field—begins and ends at Eastman House, and includes the Neighborhood of the Arts and ArtWalk and passes by numerous Rochester landmarks, many built or supported by George Eastman. The Photo Finish 5K embodies Eastman’s philanthropic spirit and his ideals of wellness and health. Eastman often used his philanthropy to encourage others to give, resulting in the creation of Rochester’s United Way and Red Cross chapters, as well as Strong Memorial Hospital. He wanted Rochester to be the healthiest and best city in the world in which to live and work and, although he gave money to organizations all over the world, he gave most of his fortune to Rochester causes, hospitals, and universities.

How can several organizations benefit from one event?

The Photo Finish 5K allows non-profit organizations of any size to raise money while Eastman House staff and volunteers handle the event organization. While Eastman House raises money from registration fees, participants can raise money to run or walk in the Photo Finish 5K for any charity of their choice. Individuals or teams can sign up on behalf of a favorite non-profit organization. Eastman House is offering information sessions for individuals and organizations on June 25, July 24, and Aug. 22. 

The dozens of Rochester area organizations that benefited from donations in 2012 include the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, Community Place of Greater Rochester, Hillside Children’s Center Foundation, Humane Society of Greater Rochester, Open Door Mission, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilson Commencement Park, and YMCA of Greater Rochester.

How to start fundraising/attend an info session

To facilitate fundraising, the Eastman House has teamed up with Crowdrise, an innovative, online fundraising site, which encourages donations of any denomination. Crowdrise was founded by actor and activist Ed Norton, film producer Shauna Robertson, and brothers Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe.

Charity teams or individuals can access online tools at Interested participants can register online for the Photo Finish 5K at Eastman House is hosting information sessions Tuesday, June 25; Wednesday, July 24; and Thursday, Aug. 22 to explain how to set up a charity page and create a team. Each session will run from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in Eastman House’s Curtis Theatre, which is accessible through the Eastman House Café entrance off the parking lot. Brown bag lunches or meals from the Eastman House Café are welcomed.  The sessions are open to the public and one can RSVP by calling (585) 271-3361 ext. 445, or emailing Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops, so they can get started during the session.

An additional component to the Photo Finish 5K is a global reach, since participants need not be in Rochester. The race can be run or walked anywhere, while still raising money for a chosen Rochester-based charity. Numerous prizes will be offered to participants, for both best finishing times and top fundraising teams, including $1,000 in cash for charities in each of five categories.

The co-founders of the George Eastman House Photo Finish 5K are Victoria Cherry, representing the Eastman House Board of Trustees and Eastman House Council, and Rachel Pikus, representing the Eastman Young Professionals. Photo Finish 5K is sponsored by MVP Healthcare and Medved Running and Walking Outfitters.

Learn more and register for the event at


Event website:

Fundraising website:

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