On February 15, 2014, nearly 20,000 scantily clad runners in 27 cities across the United States and three cities in Australia will be raising awareness of Neurofibromatosis (NF) and donations to the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) through Cupid’s Undie Run. Sponsored by MeUndies and recognized as the world’s largest organized underwear run, the event requires participants to strip off the usual workday wear and show their support for research of NF in just…their undies.
“Kids with NF have to overcome challenges on a daily basis,” says Chad Leathers, Cupid’s Undie Run co-founder. “This event puts people in an uncomfortable situation while putting some hilarity in charity.”
The idea for Cupid’s Undie Run was born in February 2010 with the desire to help a friend in need. In 2009, Drew Leathers became paraplegic during his battle with NF, spent 183 days in the hospital and was bedridden for the remainder of the year. Determined to help Chad’s brother, friends Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill rallied alongside Chad to create an event that would support research efforts to the CTF. After just 30 days of planning, the first Cupid’s Undie Run was held in Washington, DC with more than 650 runners in six-‐feet of snow.
“What started as a small event to help a friend has grown into a national effort that includes the support of the entire NF community with a mission to end NF,” said Gill, Cupid’s Undie Run co-founder.
The event’s success in raising awareness and funding research culminated in December 2012. After giving a speech at the CTF Gala, and with the assistance of Chad, Drew lifted himself out of the wheelchair that he had been restricted to for nearly four years. To date, Cupid’s Undie Run has donated nearly $2 million and is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, operated by dozens of volunteers throughout the country. This year, Cupid's Undie Run will be held in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boise, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Mason City, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Omaha, Orland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Seattle, Silicon Valley, St. Louis and Washington, DC.