Charity Programs

The IMT Des Moines Marathon is dedicated  to providing community events that encourage active participation in maintaining healthy lifestyle choices.  As an organization we support a variety of charitable programs through cash, in-kind product and sponsorship contributions. By participating as an athlete in the IMT Des Moines Marathon you are supporting many of these causes and we thank you.

You also have a direct opportunity to provide additional support through building campaign awareness and/or fundraising for a charity of your choice by running or walking on race day on behalf of one of our Athlete Charity Programs. Either way, we welcome your efforts towards making the Des Moines community a better place to live and grow.

MERCY FOUNDATION is an extension of the healing ministry of Christ inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Through this heritage, they connect donors to critical needs. The purpose of Mercy Foundation is to secure vital funding that ensures equal access, clinical excellence, and high quality care for all.

TEAM ABOVE + BEYOND Open to anyone who has an interest in joining Above + Beyond Cancer in its mission to elevate the lives of those touched by cancer to create a healthier world.

Individuals who commit to raising at least $100 to support Above + Beyond Cancer’s programs will receive a free registration to the IMT Des Moines Marathon event of their choice and an Above + Beyond Cancer running shirt.

Complete the Above + Beyond Cancer online registration form, or if you would like to be involved in the IMT Des Moines Marathon event as an Above + Beyond Cancer volunteer but not as a runner, complete the same online registration form and they will contact you to help you set up your event fundraising page.

SHOES THAT FIT provides new shoes to children in need so that they can attend school in comfort and with dignity.

The national Shoes That Fit organization accomplishes this objective by matching a sponsoring group with schools near them that have children in need.  The sponsor determines how many children they can help and the school identifies and measures students with materials Shoes That Fit can provide. The sponsor purchases the exact items the children in need require and delivers the items to their school. Every penny spent goes directly to the child.

On Media / Mediacom is a local sponsor of Shoes That Fit and has provided shoes and clothing to more than 28,800 children since they started sponsoring the program in Central Iowa.

TEAM IN TRAINING Full or half marathon, triathlon and cycling events offered, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) sets the standard for endurance sports training programs for charity. TNT coaches will offer participants the best training available. As you train for your event, your coaches and peers will guide and encourage you, helping you to achieve your goals. Whatever sport and event you choose, an unforgettable weekend and memories that will last a lifetime, will follow. Challenge yourself by joining TEAM today and help find a cure for cancer! Click here for more information.

PD WALKERS Formed in 2008 with the hopes of raising awareness of Parkinson’s Disease.  PD Walkers team members fundraise to support the Iowa Chapter of APDA and help the Chapter realize its mission “To Ease the Burden to Find the Cure”.

The founder, LaDona Molander, 46, was diagnosed at the age of 32 and believes that exercise and attitude have helped slow the progression of her PD.   She is encouraging those diagnosed with PD and others affected by PD to join her on her walks and help spread awareness of Parkinson’s disease and in return reap the benefits of exercise.

PD Walkers has brought more than 400 participants together on behalf of Parkinson’s Disease over the years at the IMT Des Moines Marathon.  It is free to join our team and if you raise $25 you receive a PD Walkers dri-fit t-shirt! Go to to join the team. PD Walkers team members and friends are able to set up their own personal web page and collect online donations.  If you need help, please email LaDona at or call 515.953.8474.

CHILDREN’S CANCER CONNECTION Established in 1988 to provide programs and services to children battling childhood cancer it was quickly obvious that the disease not only affects the child but it also affects the entire family. Their programs and services have grown with that in mind. Today Children’s Cancer Connection offers a large variety of programs and services centered on our mission to enhance the quality of life for families affected by childhood cancer by providing programs for education, recreation and support. These programs are provided for all families affected by childhood cancer who are living, treated or diagnosed in the state of Iowa, regardless of outcome. Services include: Camps & Retreats, Hospital-Based Programs, Support Services & Family Outings, and Survivorship Services. Click here for more information.

MAKE-A-WISH Make-A-Wish® Iowa grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Foundation has granted wishes to nearly 3,000 Iowa children living with a life-threatening medical condition and currently grants a wish every other day in the state. The organization hosts Tour de Lights, your chance to walk, bike, skate or run through Jolly Holiday Lights before it opens to the public.

HIT THE GROUND RUNNING Offered through the Young Women’s Resource Center, Hit the Ground Running is all about activity, resilience and empowerment. This ten-week program includes fun and healthy activities for 6th and 7th graders and concludes with the completion of a 5K. Hit the Ground Running takes place in the fall, spring and summer and is a great way for young women to get active and build self-esteem in a fun and encouraging environment. Topics covered include: empowerment, resiliency, healthy lifestyle, getting active. Activities include: 5K run at the end of the eight-week group, afternoon to pick out running shoes at Scheels, scavenger hunt, fun runs, pre-race meditation.

GIRLS ON THE RUN Using the power of running to prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Volunteer coaches work with 3rd – 6th grade girls over the 10-week, 20-lesson program to prepare for a 5k while learning about important topics such as making good choices, conflict resolution, and standing up for yourself. Girls on the Run focuses on helping girls learn to be physically, socially and emotionally healthy.

Each year, Girls on the Run of Polk County and Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa awards thousands of dollars in program scholarships to underprivileged girls so that all girls can participate in Girls on the Run, regardless of their ability to pay. Solemates are male and female athletes who raise money for Girls on the Run. For more information in Polk County email
For more information in Eastern Iowa visit or email Join us today!

NATION MS SOCIETY, UPPER MIDWEST CHAPTER It’s likely someone you know is familiar with what it means to live with multiple sclerosis. More than 17,000 people who live in the upper Midwest have been diagnosed with this chronic, often disabling disease. But MS doesn’t just affect individuals ― it affects the whole family. By choosing the National MS Society as your charity partner, you help raise awareness about MS and its impact in our communities. You’re also raising funds that are critical to making the day-to-day challenges of living with MS a little easier. Plus, your efforts advance research that will end MS forever. Your support of the Society helps address those needs, and can change the world for everyone affected by MS. Click here for more information and learn how to join the Finish MS IMT Des Moines Marathon Team or email

ALS ASSOCIATION is the only not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS.  As the preeminent ALS organization, The Association leads the way in research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — giving help and hope to those facing the disease.

Locally, The ALS Association, Iowa Chapter provides direct services, resources and support to Iowans affected by ALS through our care services and programs. The core Chapter services and programs include Home Visits, an Equipment Loan Program and a General Grant Program, just to name a few.

Fundraising events and care services programs are offered year round at The ALS Association, Iowa Chapter.  Visit their website here to learn more about the disease, services the Iowa Chapter provides and other events supporting people living with ALS.  Also click here to find out how you can participate in The ALS Association’s Charity Runner Program for the IMT Des Moines Marathon.

LIFESERVE The Blood Center of Iowa joined operations with Siouxland Community Blood Bank in April, 2010 to become LifeServe Blood Center. As one of the 15th largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center provides blood and blood products to more than 100 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800.287.4903 or visit

LOVE TAKES ROOT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating the future of children worldwide. They help children around the world facing dire circumstances by delivering basic aid, education and the seeds for a sustainable future. In 2011, LOVE Takes Root was called to Haiti where they relocated and rebuilt an orphanage reduced to rubble by the 2010 earthquake. For sustainability, they also built a primary school and medical/dental clinic, and are presently building a secondary school.

LOVE Takes Root is an Iowa-based, volunteer-led, grassroots organization that embraces Iowa’s values of hard work, neighborliness and compassion. Join them in their mission by becoming a ROOTS Runner and joining a dedicated group of givers who pound the pavement, raising funds for our mission while training for and racing a half-marathon or marathon. To learn more, please visit LOVE Takes Root.

SISTER MARATHON PEACE INITIATIVE materialized through the support of the Bhutan Olympic Committee, international race directors, volunteers and running enthusiasts who are determined to bring peace and goodwill to the world through the sport of running.

The Sister Marathon community aims to build lasting friendships across cultures that serve to bring the world closer together through an international alliance of marathon partners. Our community consists of volunteers, fans and athletes of all levels who want to experience their passion for running with the excitement of exploring other countries and cultures. The IMT Des Moines Marathon is proud to serve as a sister marathon. Learn more.

Back to Top