Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

St. Charles-based nonprofit to host Donut Run to raise money for pediatric research

  • Updated

Photo courtesy of Take Part Foundation

On Sept. 10, experience food trucks, music, balloon animals, vendors, face painting, doughnuts and marathon running at the fifth annual Donut Run at the Frankie Martin’s Garden in Cottleville. The event, planned by the St. Charles-based nonprofit Take Part Foundation, will help raise money for research into rare pediatric diseases.

Event organizers have mapped a course through Cottleville for participants to run or walk. While not required, a challenge coinciding with the marathon entails eating at least one doughnut during the marathon.

Maria Granados, the foundation’s co-founder and COO, says the Donut Run began as a family activity each summer and evolved into a community-driven way to raise money for medical research.


Photo courtesy of Take Part Foundation

“We just thought, ‘Why not throw out this wild, fun concept?’” Granados says. “When it comes to pediatric anything, I think it’s important to make your events fun, engaging, but also to hit home as far as the mission and the cause behind it. So we’re like, ‘How can we make this fun but impactful?’ Running, eating doughnuts, being outside and being silly is just the best thing we could think about.”

Granados and her husband, Matt, created the foundation after their daughter, Natalie, was diagnosed with a gene disorder known as PYROXD1. She is one of only 17 individuals in the world with the disease.

Their nonprofit now aims to raise money for research into various pediatric diseases that otherwise might lack financial support due to the rarity of a disease. Along with funding research into Natalie’s disease, the foundation is looking to expand its resources to fund research into other rare diseases that have few to no funding options.

“Oftentimes, these little projects kind of die off because they didn’t have enough initial funding to get their idea proven to a certain level,” Granados says. “And that’s really where Take Part comes in. We want to find those little projects that just need that seed funding to keep going so that they can prove the concept they need to prove to apply to the big guys.”

Each event the foundation hosts aims to raise money for the beginning stages of research into rare diseases. Last year’s Donut Run raised more than $70,000, plus $50,000 during a social media campaign for this year’s National Donut Day on June 3. This year, Granados cites the goal for the Donut Run as $100,000.


Photo courtesy of Take Part Foundation

“We just want to invite the whole family to come out,” Granados says. “If you’re not going to run or eat doughnuts, come out. Find something fun, walk around, have lunch, have a drink, listen to music, do something and just be part of the day with us.”

A runner can register online at, either as an individual or as part of a team. Tickets for kids ages 12 and under are free.

Vendors signed up to attend include Hazel & Blues boutique, Supplement Superstore, Lily and Day boutique and Christen Michel, along with food trucks Taste D Burger, Doggie Macs and Woodson BBQ. DJ Dawson High is set to perform from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Event sponsors include The Opus Group; Michael Grasso, DDS; Dr. Jamie Puckett of Boonslick Medical Group; the Witte family; and Genius Games.

Take Part Foundation, 5377 State Highway North, No. 221, St. Charles, 636-395-0138,

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Washington University in St. Louis and senior living facility Allegro Richmond Heights have partnered to offer CST groups, "a non-drug intervention designed to foster the strengthening of remaining cognitive skills through participation and doing,” Dr. Patricia Nellis says.

“I’m not going to just sit around and hope things get better,” Neonatal Progeroid Foundation president Leslie Macari says. “I connected with other parents of NPS children from all over the world via Facebook. And it took a while to get a nonprofit foundation set up, but we did it because no one else is going to advocate for us.”