MDRA Foundation and Advocacy

MDRA Advocacy in action…

At the heart of MDRA is a desire to support runners.  The following are current opportunities for assistance through MDRA and its partners.


The MDRA Foundation

MDRA Foundation is a 501c3 that was established in 2017.  As MDRA’s philanthropic arm its mission is to promote youth participation; provide training and education to runners; and to support the running community.  Initiatives include the Community Giving Grant, training programs, and the Minnesota Elite Athlete Development Program. Help us support local running and make a donation to the MDRA Foundation here!  Did you know that many companies match donations made by their employees to our organization? Please check with your Human Resources Department to see if your company offers a matching gift program.


  • MDRA Foundation Community Giving Grant

The Community Giving Grant program accepts grant proposals from Minnesota organizations that promote youth participation; provide training and education to runners; and to support the running community.  The 4th annual community giving grant was announced on August 21, 2020.

2020 Grant Awardees Press Release

More information on past recipients and application information is available here.

  • Minnesota Elite Athlete Development Program

Grants will be awarded in 2019 and the program will close  – The Minnesota Elite Athlete Development Program (MEADP) is a collaboration of Grandma’s Marathon, Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and the Minnesota Distance Running Association, and is designed to assist elite Minnesota distance runners who have completed their academic running careers, in reaching their full athletic potential. Each year MEADP will provide grants, in amounts up to $2,000 per recipient, to promising Minnesota elite distance runners. Additionally, funds are made available to aid Minnesota residents who qualify for the Olympic Trials.


  • Stephen Ojalvo Fund

The Stephen Ojalvo Fund was created to benefit those who would not otherwise be able to participate in running due to financial constraints or disability and encourage those who would otherwise face obstacles to join our community of runners. The fund was established by MDRA and the Ojalvo Family in memory of MDRA Member, Stephen Ojalvo, who passed away suddenly the morning of January 20, 2018.  Donations can be made to the fund at any Wells Fargo Bank or mailed to “Stephen Ojalvo Outreach Fund” care of MDRA, P.O. Box 6419 Minneapolis, MN 55406.

MDRA Advocacy Committee

The Advocacy Committee works on various tasks thought the year advocating on behalf of runners in Minnesota.

Some of our recent work or promotion of causes:

Let us know if there is a project or a cause in your area of the state we should be aware of.  Email runminnesota@gmail.com, Subject: ADVOCACY