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24 Hours of Booty on, other Charlotte race organizers prepare back-up plans at COVID-19 trends worsen

The event dubbed ‘24 Hours of Booty’ is a fundraising event for organizations that help people diagnosed with cancer.
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the 20th year, people will bike and walk around the Booty Loop in Myers Park to raise money for the 24 Foundation.

The event dubbed ‘24 Hours of Booty’ is a fundraising event for organizations that help people diagnosed with cancer.

Executive Director of the 24 Foundation, Katy Ryan, says the two main beneficiaries of the fundraising event are Levine Cancer Institute and Levine Children’s Hospital.

An additional 12 to 15 organizations will qualify for grant funding from the money raised from the 24 Hours of Booty.

“24 Hours of Booty is a 24 hour cycling and walking event that is as much or as little as you want to do,” Ryan said. “You don’t have to ride or walk the full 24 hours. It’s on this beautiful, pristine 2.83-mile loop here in Myers Park, twentieth year, no experience necessary. If you know how to ride a bike or walk, put one foot in front of the other. You can come be a part of it.”

In 2020, 24 Hours of Booty went virtual. Ryan says they were still able to raise $800,000. Each non-COVID year, the event raises anywhere from $1.2 to $1.8 million.

“Our goal is to make an immediate impact on people whose lives have been affected by cancer,” Ryan said. “The pandemic’s roaring, but cancer doesn’t stop. So, we needed to make sure that we could still bridge the gap for a lot of organizations.”

For this year’s event, participants can choose to run virtually or in person along the Booty Loop. Participants attend ‘Bootyville’ are subject to a COVID-19 screening and temperature check.

“We work with a very vulnerable population and we absolutely have to keep everybody safe,” Ryan said. “And we’ve had a couple of people in the last couple of days say I’m going to switch from in-person to virtual.”

Other race organizers in Charlotte are preparing contingency plans for their upcoming events as COVID-19 trends continue to tick upwards.

Brian Mister is the Race Director for Charlotte’s Around the Crown 10k. The 2021 event is scheduled for Sept. 5.

“I think it’s a little bit easier this go around. Our eyes aren’t closed and we’re asleep, just getting punched,” Mister explained. “I think we know what’s coming.”

Mister says last December they worked with Mecklenburg County Public Health and NCDHHS to develop a plan to safely host the run in person.

But once COVID-19 trends improved and businesses reopened in the spring, Mister thought they might be able to run a more traditional event.

“And then we kind of scrapped it in March or April when things were opening up-- all of that work was kind of for nothing but it was also good to think about and now we’re realizing it’s coming back around and we’re going to need to use this potentially,” Mister explained.

As of now, the Around the Crown 10k is still being run as planned, but Mister says they are prepared to fall back on Plan B if trends continue.

“Safety is our number one priority. That’s the health and wellness community in general be that Around the Crown, 24 Hours of Booty, or the Charlotte Marathon we’re here to keep people safe and healthy,” Mister said.

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