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Heaven Can Wait goes virtual in 2020, with a different mission

Heaven Can Wait 2020
St. Charles Foundation

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- St. Charles Foundation is changing its annual Heaven Can Wait 5K to a virtual event this year to raise funds for St. Charles Health System’s COVID-19 efforts.

“Heaven Can Wait 2020: Virtual Race for Frontline Heroes” will take place from June 7 to 14. Community members are encouraged to donate $25 or more to St. Charles Foundation to support frontline caregivers. Participants will walk or run in their own neighborhoods and can send photos of themselves completing the 5K, which will be shared on St. Charles’ website and social media channels.

“We appreciate that Central Oregonians are helping flatten the curve by staying at home during this pandemic. We want to encourage them to find active ways to stay healthy and connected,” said Joe Sluka, president and CEO of St. Charles. “This virtual shared community experience gives people a creative way to safely support St. Charles’ efforts to fight COVID-19.”

When participants visit to make a donation and designate the gift to “Heaven Can Wait: Frontline Heroes,” they will be automatically registered for the virtual 5K. They’ll receive a printable bib number via email and will be encouraged to complete a 5K on their own, in their own neighborhoods, within the span of a week.

“For the past 20 years, the Heaven Can Wait 5K has raised money for Sara’s Project, providing breast cancer education and support for people in Central and Eastern Oregon. Those services will continue,” said Tom Schumacher, director of the St. Charles Cancer Center.

“Fighting COVID-19 takes our entire community, and this virtual event allows us the flexibility to raise much needed funds to support St. Charles’ front line caregivers. We wouldn’t be able to pivot to an event like this without the continued participation from the community and our steadfast sponsors.”

For more information or to register for “Heaven Can Wait 2020: Virtual Race for Frontline Heroes,” go to For questions about registering for the race, contact race director Anna Contreras at

About St. Charles Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of St. Charles Health System, the Foundation works to support and improve health care in Central and Eastern Oregon. Private donations raised by the Foundation allow St. Charles to build new medical facilities, purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, keep pace with the latest technological advances and deliver exceptional patient care in a healing environment. The Foundation does more than just raise money for bricks and mortar. The organization also raises money to support many programs that benefit low-income and uninsured patients.

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