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Local artist Doug Orleski, better known as RVA Coffee Stain, selected as Monument 10K “Dash for the Cash” participant

Though he acknowledges that he still has plenty of work left to do to prepare before race day, Orleski already has plans for the $2,500 if he does cross the finish line first: he’ll donate the winnings to the VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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Doug Orleski, the Richmond-based artist known as ‘RVA Coffee Stain,’ has been selected for an opportunity to win $2,500 on Saturday, March 28, as the Dash for the Cash participant at the 2020 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger. In the Dash for the Cash, one participant is selected to get a head start on the course and race against the rest of the field in hopes of being the first to cross the finish line. If the contestant can outrun the fastest elite runner, the Dash for the Cash prize is theirs for the taking.

Orleski’s head start will be based on his estimated predicted time on his race entry form, previous running experiences, and estimated times of elite runners in the field. His goal is to attempt to cross the finish line before any of the other athletes running in the full 10k (6.2 miles). If he does outpace the rest of the field to the finish line, he will win the $2,500 cash prize.

The 2020 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k will be Orleski’s first-ever race after taking up running several years ago as part of a commitment to improving his health through active living. He began exercising and running on a regular basis and in the process lost 60 pounds on his journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Through his cartoon and sketch work as RVA Coffee Stain, Orleski says he’s able to celebrate Richmond through art, and his work helped him become part of the community after he moved to the area in 2012. Taking part in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k is a natural extension of that community involvement and another great way to celebrate Richmond’s love for active living and big events.

“I was surprised and excited to be approached with the opportunity to take part in the Dash for the Cash,” Orleski said. “I was looking forward to the experience already since this will be my first actual race, and now I am anticipating race day on March 28 even more.”

Though he acknowledges that he still has plenty of work left to do to prepare before race day, Orleski already has plans for the $2,500 if he does cross the finish line first: he’ll donate the winnings to the VCU Massey Cancer Center, one of the official charity partners of the 10k, to help aid in their fight against cancer and support the lifesaving research being done here in Richmond.

In addition to the training he’s already done, Orleski plans to utilize the help of the Richmond Road Runners Club Advanced 10k Training Team, particularly to build speed. Orleski joked that after learning he’d been selected, “I texted my wife and said it looks like it’s time to start training so I don’t look like a fool out there,” but he knows this is a rare opportunity and a unique way to engage with the 10k, and he says he’s looking forward to the experience: “I’ll plan to do some fun stuff on RVA Coffee Stain social media leading up the race…. this will be really cool.”

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Become a Richmond tourism ambassador from the comfort of your own home

The free I Am Tourism workshops help participants gain a visitor’s perspective of the region and an understanding of tourism offerings.

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Richmonders have a new way to learn about the region – from home.

Richmond Region Tourism is launching a virtual version of its popular I Am Tourism ambassador workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 9-11 a.m., with a second session on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 9-11 a.m. New classes will be held monthly.

The free I Am Tourism workshops help participants gain a visitor’s perspective of the region and an understanding of tourism products and offerings.

The Oct. 28 session includes information about the economic impact of tourism and an overview of the attractions, events and activities in the Richmond region. A virtual tour led by Bill Martin, The Valentine executive director, will guide the class on a custom visit to some of his favorite places.

“The I Am Tourism program is an exciting opportunity for everyone in our community to become knowledgeable and influential representatives of the region,” said Jack Berry, Richmond Region Tourism CEO and president.

The primary reason people travel to the Richmond Region is to visit friends and family. National travel data points to this trend continuing as people continue with more car-based trips during the pandemic. The I Am Tourism classes provided an opportunity for residents to become knowledgeable ambassadors when guests visit.

“Richmond’s hospitality industry hasn’t escaped the devastating financial impact of the pandemic, but we’re seeing signs of growth and progress. The new virtual sessions are an opportunity for the entire community to help the tourism industry and the region’s economic rebound,” Berry said.

Participants must register for the Oct. 28 class by Oct. 27 at noon.

Since the I Am Tourism program launched in 2015, more than 2,600 Ambassadors have gone through the program. Richmond Region Tourism also creates custom classes for employee engagement activities for local businesses.

For more information on upcoming I Am Tourism ambassador trainings and to register, visit visitrichmondva.com.

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CarMax Tacky Light Run reimagined with virtual and road-based courses for 2020

The CarMax Tacky Light Run, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 12, won’t be held as a traditional single day, in-person event, and event organizers will instead offer multiple ‘Official Courses’ for registered participants to use.

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The CarMax Tacky Light Run, originally scheduled for Saturday, December 12, won’t be held as a traditional single day, in-person event, and event organizers will instead offer multiple ‘Official Courses’ for registered participants to use. Courses will be open December 11-December 13 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and a virtual option is also available for participants to complete their run or walk on a course of their own choosing as well.

One of the planned courses will utilize the Walton Park neighborhood, one of the area’s most festive collections of holiday lights and elaborate decorations, and the traditional site of the CarMax Tacky Light Run.

Now in its eighth year, the holiday-themed fun run combines one of Richmond’s favorite traditions – tacky holiday lights – with a celebration of active living. Registration is now open with pricing for adults ($18) and youth age 14 and under ($12), and, in addition to the marked and measured course options, registration also includes a long-sleeve event participant shirt, packet mailing, participant race bib, and a $5 discount to register for the 2021 CarMax Tacky Light Run.

All registered participants will also be automatically entered into a contest for a special CarMax Tacky Light Run prize pack. Optional add-ons to registration include a commemorative CarMax Tacky Light Run 2020 ornament, holiday-themed merchandise, and glow kits.

“We are excited that Sports Backers has come up with a creative solution to keep the tradition of this fun and festive event going this year,” said Leslie Parpart, Director of Community Relations at CarMax. “The CarMax Tacky Light Run has become a much-anticipated annual event for residents and families all over the Richmond region and we’re honored to be the lead sponsor for the eighth consecutive year.”

Each official CarMax Tacky Light Run course will have signage, mile markers, and passive traffic calming measures to promote the safety of participants. Event organizers will also provide additional support including lighting and other safety measures while courses are open from December 11-December 13.

“The CarMax Tacky Light Run has grown to become one of Richmond’s favorite holiday activities and we’re excited to offer this new event format for participants to take part in a festive and active way while following public health guidelines to support the health and safety of participants, volunteers, and staff,” said Molly Johnson, Event Director for Sports Backers. “We’re thankful for the continued support of CarMax and Chesterfield County and we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate in a new format in December.”

Participants will also be encouraged to dress up in their best, brightest, and tackiest holiday gear, and the CarMax Tacky Light Run Costume Contest will reward the top costumes in the categories of ‘Best Tacky Sweater,’ ‘Merry and Bright: Brightest Dressed,’ and ‘Best Overall: Individual and Group.’ Costume contest participants can submit photos to [email protected] or post on social media and tag @TackyLight Run, @SportsBackers or #NeverTooTacky.

Kids Run RVA will serve as the official event charity for the CarMax Tacky Light Run. Kids Run RVA is an initiative of Sports Backers that reaches thousands of young people and provides run clubs and fitness opportunities in schools and neighborhoods across the Richmond region, including many underserved communities.

Kids Run RVA gives youth the chance to have fun while being physically active in their own communities and gets thousands of kids moving throughout the Richmond area on a daily basis, with the goal of establishing healthy habits early in life that are critical to the long-term physical, emotional, and social development of all children. Kids Run RVA works to break down barriers and provide all kids the opportunity to participate in daily physical activity.

For more information on the CarMax Tacky Light Run, please visit www.sportsbackers.org.

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Field set for 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic

The 54-hole event will feature 81 players including five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who will make his second PGA TOUR Champions start after turning 50 in June, as well as fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara and Vijay Singh.  

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The final field is set for this week’s Dominion Energy Charity Classic, returning to The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course, October 16-18.  The 54-hole event will feature 81 players including five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, who will make his second PGA TOUR Champions start after turning 50 in June, as well as fellow World Golf Hall of Fame members Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara and Vijay Singh.  

Defending champion Miguel Ángel Jiménez returns after adding another two titles to his resume this season at the Mitusbishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and last month at the Sanford International. It marks the third straight multi-win season for the native of Spain, who carded a course-record-tying 63 in the final round to post a two-shot victory at last year’s Dominion Energy Charity Classic. Jiménez will be joined by fellow past champions Woody Austin (2018), Langer (2017) and reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Scott McCarron (2016).  

Seventeen-time PGA TOUR winner Jim Furyk, who turned 50 in May and went on to win his first two PGA TOUR Champions starts, will make his tournament debut in Richmond. It will mark the fourth start for the 2003 U.S. Open champion and 2010 FedEx Cup champion.

A total of 19 players in the field are major championship winners: Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010 Masters; 2005 PGA Championship; 2013 Open Championship), Ernie Els (1994, 1997 U.S. Open; 2002, 2012 Open Championship), Vijay Singh (2000 Masters; 1998, 2004 PGA Championship), John Daly (1991 PGA Championship; 1995 Open Championship), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004 U.S. Open), Lee Janzen (1993, 1998 U.S. Open), Bernhard Langer (1985, 1993 Masters), Mark O’Meara (1998 Masters, Open Championship), Rich Beem (2002 PGA Championship), Mark Calcavecchia (1989 Open Championship), Darren Clarke (2011 Open Championship), Jim Furyk (2003 U.S. Open), Steve Jones (1996 U.S. Open), Tom Lehman (1996 Open Championship), Larry Mize (1987 Masters), Corey Pavin (1995 U.S. Open), Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA Championship), David Toms (2001 PGA Championship) and Mike Weir (2003 Masters).

Five past PLAYERS Championship winners are in the field: Stephen Ames (2006), K.J. Choi (2011), Fred Funk (2005), Lee Janzen (1995) and Phil Mickelson (2008).

In addition to the United States, the field features players hailing from 12 other countries including Australia (Stephen Leaney, David McKenzie, Rod Pampling), Canada (Stephen Ames, Mike Weir), England (Paul Broadhurst), Fiji (Vijay Singh), Germany (Bernhard Langer), Esteban Toledo (Mexico), Northern Ireland (Darren Clarke), Scotland (Colin Montgomerie), South Africa (Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, David Frost), Spain (Miguel Angel Jiménez), South Korea (K.J. Choi) and Sweden (Robert Karlsson, Jesper Parnevik).

“We are excited to welcome to Richmond all of the players that will comprise what is arguably the best field in the short history of this event,” said Steve Schoenfeld, Executive Director of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. “Equally as important, the tournament will continue to make a significant, positive charitable impact in the local community, even in a year when we are unable to host spectators on site.”

Richmond native Bobby Wadkins, who grew up playing The Country Club of Virginia with older brother Lanny Wadkins – a World Golf Hall of Fame member and lead analyst for Golf Channel – received a sponsor exemption and will make his first start at the event. Wadkins owns four PGA TOUR Champions titles, including a senior major at the 2006 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is typically the first of three Charles Schwab Cup Playoff events at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Champions season. Following the onset of COVID-19 and event cancelations stemming from the global pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 seasons were combined to form a singular 2020-21 season, in turn reverting the three events back to full-field, 81-player tournaments. 

While the 2020 tournament will be held without spectators on-site, the three-round event will broadcast live on Golf Channel, Friday, October 16 through Sunday, October 18, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday and 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.ET on Saturday and Sunday.  

Since the tournament’s inception in 2016, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic has helped to generate more than $3.5 million for Greater Richmond area charities with a focus on organizations benefiting military veterans. In three out of four years, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic has been voted by PGA TOUR Champions players as their favorite event, among all PGA TOUR Champions tournaments throughout the year. The Players Award represents recognition for a tournament that goes above and beyond in the experience they provide to PGA TOUR Champions players.  

To view the entire 2020 Dominion Energy Charity Classic field, visit the this link.

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