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BENEFITING: Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind

EVENT DATE: Sep 17, 2017

Ryan Baggett


The purpose of this event is two-fold:

1) Demonstrate to the Dallas-Ft. Worth active running community and their families that they can do something to improve the air quality in their environment and thus improve their running experience - by becoming owners of zero-exhaust Electric Vehicles and either having their own private EV charging stations in their homes or encouraging the adoption of public-use EV charging stations through the demand they generate by being EV drivers.


2) Raise money for an energy efficiency upgrades and installation of an on-premise solar array project at the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind through runners' registrations, corporate sponsorship, and direct giving at


On September 17, 2017, The City of Irving., TX will host the first annual RUN WITH THE SUN.  Dealerships representing the following models of electric vehicles have volunteered to place static models of the following at the run site for observation by the participating runners, their family members and  supporters, and members of the community who are curious to see how driving electric vehicles can contribute directly to cleaner air and a better outdoor running environment:

* Tesla Model S and Model X

* Nissan LEAF

* BMW i3e

* Chevy Bolt

* Kia Soul EV

* Fiat 500e 

* Ford Focus Electric 

Runners participate in either a 3-kilometer Family Fun Run / Walk event, or a 5-kilometer or 10-kilometer competitive race.   Runners in each event pay a registration fee of $15 per runner for the 3-kilometer Family Fun Run / Walk event, $30 per runner for the 5-kilometer competitive race, or $35 per runner for the 10-kilometer competitive race.     Only runners between the ages of 10 and 64 pay a registration fee for any of the run events.  Runners 10 years of age and younger and 65 years of age and better run with no registration fee.   Additionally, families, friends or co-workers may organize to run as groups which register together.  Teams of 5 registered runners participating in any of the RUN WITH THE SUN events receive a 25% discount.   

This event is as much about learning and having fun as it is about running and supporting a truly great cause.   And here's the REASON WHY WE ARE RUNNING.... 


The Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind celebrates their 86th year serving the needs of the blind and visually impaired in Dallas and surrounding counties this year. Unfortunately, of the estimated 154,000 blind and visually impaired persons in need of jobs suitable to their disabilities and services the Dallas Lighthouse is able to serve only about 1,100... less than 1%. When I discovered this, I wanted to know why. I met with the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind Director of Public Sales, Kevin Horrigan and Executive Vice President Laura Klein and found out why. The building the Lighthouse occupies at 4306 Capitol Avenue in Dallas, TX is very energy inefficient.  Single-pane windows and an outdated HVAC system mean that the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind pays an average of $14,000 per month for their electricity.  I personally observed air gaps over a quarter of an inch under some of the exterior doors in a recent energy audit conducted by volunteer members of the North Texas Renewable Energy Group under the direction of the North Texas Association of Energy Engineers.  

Following the audit, here's what we resolved to do:  With the data collected from the energy audit, we recommended alterations to their building such as upgraded Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and double-paned windows, upgraded insulation, energy efficient LED lighting to replace the costly and inefficient compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and energy-saving motion detectors which shut off the lights when the lights are not in use to further reduce the energy bill of the Lighthouse for the Blind by 50%.  Then, we're going to install an energy-generating solar panel array to the roof of the structure to convert most of their energy usage to on-premises clean solar energy.  This reduces the energy costs of the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind further by reducing their "demand charge." Basically, when a kilowatt-hour (the measure used to denote the quantity of electricity used) costs the most to buy during the high-demand period of 7 am - 4 pm, the solar array of the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind will allow them to not buy it, but to to produce their own electricity during that time via clean solar energy.

Using clean solar energy means clean air for you and me.  It means a reduction both in pollution and in the need to burn fossil fuels for energy.  Use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas pollute our air and make America dependent on foreign nations for our energy needs. 

This project will be the start of a clean energy revolution in the City of Dallas and in North Texas to start, and along the way, we are going to help the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind to better complete their mission of serving the needs of blind and visually impaired persons. We're going to create jobs at the Lighthouse and help more visually-impaired people earn a living for themselves rather than depend upon disability payments and other means of public assistance.  

We're going to create jobs in the community and provide economic stimulus by hiring companies to install the high-efficiency HVAC units, LED lighting, and the Solar Array.  A requirement of vendors participating in this project is that the products they install are made in the USA. 

With the monies we raise through donations and through participation in the RUN WITH THE SUN, you can help the Lighthouse pay off the loans they will incur in order to begin the recommended energy efficiency upgrades and solar - photovoltaic additions for the production of their power.  Please make as generous a donation as you are able.  This is our world. This is our future.



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