NorthShore Blog

2019 Donation to Our Charity Partner – Northern Lights Foundation

On Thursday, January 16, 2020, NorthShore Inline Marathon staff and volunteers participated in More Cowbell, a fundraiser for our Charity Partner Northern Lights Foundation. The annual More Cowbell event is a spoof of a Saturday Night Live skit. Each year, a handful of businesses and organizations sign up to perform a song and dance, with the aid of a live band, in hopes of garnering the most crowd support and competing for the coveted Golden Cowbell. See below for a video of our performance! UPDATE: Northern Lights Foundation raised $13,000 at the 2020 More Cowbell event!

We wanted to take this opportunity to not only give a dedicated, entertaining, and *ahem*… visually stimulating performance, but to also present our annual donation to the Northern Lights Foundation as our Charity Partner. We ask registrants of the NorthShore races to add a donation to their race entry fees. Obviously, participating in our weekend festivities is not cheap for everyone. From travel expenses, lodging, food, gear, and the race entry fee itself, we are well aware that asking for more money is… well, a big ask!

Here’s the good stuff: in 2019, race participants donated a total of $1,265.30!!! In December, our Board of Directors approved an additional expense of $1,265.30 to match every dollar and cent that was donated in 2019, effectively doubling our total donation to the Northern Lights Foundation! We couldn’t be happier to raise a total of $2,530.60 that will go directly to local families in need.

We believe in what the Northern Lights Foundation is doing. They raise funds that get distributed directly to local Duluth families with children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. These terrifying situations typically arise as a new family is expecting to arrive home from the hospital to happily watch their child and family grow. To learn that your child is, or could soon be dealing with a life-threatening illness takes an enormous emotional and psychological toll at a time when emotions are already running high. Furthermore, the financial toll is usually seemingly overwhelming at a time when many new families’ budgets are becoming increasingly stretched thin. To have a resource in the local community is and has been a major safety net and quite literally a lifesaver for many families.

Of course, many NorthShore participants are not from the the local Duluth area. We host athletes from around the country and around the world, and they still choose to donate to this Duluth-focused organization. Why? We think it is because our athletes understand the community support that the NorthShore Inline Marathon, Inc. receives in order to host our race. We ask a lot of the community of Duluth and the surrounding area, and bluntly, we are a disruption for that one weekend in September. This is a reason why we have chosen to support the Northern Lights Foundation as our Charity Partner, and why we ask YOU, our race registrants, to provide an additional donation to this organization.

The Northern Lights Foundation was started in Duluth, but now has a Minneapolis/St. Paul branch to assist families in the Twin Cities area. For more information, to donate, or attend another event throughout the year, visit