Portland Business Journal | 4K 4Charity run returns to Portland next week


Written by Malia Spencer and originally published in the Portland Business Journal on September 27, 2019.

Registration is still open for the annual 4K 4Charity Fun Run next week at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

The event is organized by AWS Elemental and has been a regular gathering of the tech community to raise money for education nonprofits Rosemary Anderson High School and KairosPDX. In the last five years the event has raised $247,000 locally.

“We thank our generous sponsors and the nearly 4,000 individuals who’ve literally taken thousands of steps to support the next generation of our scientific, technology and community leaders and enrich our community,” said Laura Barber, co-founder of the run series, in a written statement.

In addition to Portland, the company also hosts these runs at several industry conferences with each donating proceeds to a local charity. Combined, all the events have raised $1 million and, nearly 10,000 people have participated.

The events have also become a way to celebrate the life of the late Sam Blackman, co-founder and CEO of AWS Elemental. Blackman died unexpectedly in August 2017 at the age of 41. He was a fierce advocate of Portland and ensured that community involvement is a key value of the company. After Elemental was bought by Amazon he kept that civic engagement alive and brought it to the new parent company.

Rosemary Anderson High School is a community-based alternative high school and provides education access to students who have been expelled or dropped out of public high school or are homeless. The 4K 4Charity event has raised money for the school’s technology literacy and computers program for several years. KairosPDX is an education nonprofit that supports families and early learning in underserved communities.

The race length, a 4K, or 2.49 miles, is a play on AWS Elemental’s work in ultra-high resolution 4K video.