the relay the relay walkers course sponsors volunteers travel organs r us

online entry
Walkers start in Marin
Sponsors Cemex & Swanton Berry Farm
Whale City and El Jarro
Katie Grace needs a new heart & lungs



Kathy Groebner of Mankato, MN, Katie Grace's mom, 925.478.1977,
Forrest Cook, Swanton Berry Farm, 831.234.5490,
Jeff Shapiro, The Relay/Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"), 650.508.9700,

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk withdraws as Finish Sponsor after 14 years.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA., April 13, 2009 - During The Relay Walk on May 2-3, walkers will start from the Marin French Cheese Company in scenic Marin County and travel 129 miles on teams of 12 to the Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport promoting the need for donated organs through Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"). The transfer of the baton from walker to walker symbolizes the transfer of an organ from donor to recipient.

The City of Santa Cruz and the Beach Boardwalk have supported The Relay, Organs 'R' Us and 100,000 Americans waiting for organ donors. Santa Cruz Mayor Katherine Beiers, Boardwalk staff, Santa Cruz residents and Santa Cruz businesses (Santa Cruz Sentinel, Ideal Bar & Grill, Dream Inn, Ocean Pacific Lodge, Messiah Lutheran Church) helped The Relay become "California's Longest Party." The Boardwalk management notified Relay organizers in February that, "Due to the economic situation, we have found it necessary to withdraw support for several events."

After exploring other finish options in Santa Cruz (Cowell Beach reserved for another event, Depot Park scheduled for a remodel), organizers noted that the distance from Felton Quarry (Leg 35) to Davenport was the same as the distance to the Boardwalk.

Davenport residents welcome "Grapes to Berries" Relay with many offering to volunteer. Cemex, Davenport Roadhouse and Swanton Berry Farm offered their Davenport properties for the finish line. After two months of discussions, the Swanton Berry Farm was chosen as the safest finish for runners and walkers. Cemex will provide volunteers and supplies.

Davenport offers sweeping ocean views, a 1914 two-cell jail (for walkers that don't follow the rules!) and free parking. On the last leg, walkers will pass the Davenport Roadhouse, the Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill and El Jarro Taqueria.

Walkers will travel a new route to Davenport. On Leg 35, walkers travel from the Felton Quarry to Empire Grade Rd. to Smith Grade Rd. at Bonny Doon Rd. On Leg 36, walkers travel on Bonny Doon Rd. to Highway 1 and through Davenport to Swanton Rd.

Katie Grace Groebner will be at the finish to thank runners, walkers, volunteers and Davenport residents Hassan Ayyad, Noel Bock, Jim Cochran, Forrest Cook, Amy Hille, Jessie Katz, Renee Kwan, Rick Labahn, Cindy Nelson, Carolina Rocha, Francisco Serna, Satish Sheth, Mark Steadman and others for helping in her search for a heart and lung donor.

The Relay Walk started with one team in 2005. The 129-mile course through 28 cities boasts the largest number of tourist destinations of any run. Walking 2 legs of 3 to 7 miles, participants travel through Marin, Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through San Francisco and Silicon Valley to Davenport.

The Relay Walk is not about being the fastest. The Relay Walk is about learning what it takes to be a winner and doing one's best for the team in a celebration of life and walking. For corporate teams, The Relay Walk reinforces values that employees need to create a winning company. While conquering as a team what few dare to face alone, walkers work together to meet challenges and overcome hardships during the 24-hour adventure. Add the full moon, decorated vans, glow jewelry and "California's Longest Party" is "the most fun 24 feet can have…in the best place on earth."

Organs 'R' Us was founded in San Francisco in 1996 and supports 100,000 Americans waiting for organs by generating $25 million in publicity promoting the need for donors. Through running and walking, ORU members showcase their fitness proving that transplantation restores health. In the long run, organ donation saves lives.