Why fellow non-profit and Cupid’s Undie Run team Cure NF with Jack sports green each year as they fundraise to find a cure.
Ever wonder why you might see shamrocks at a Cupid’s event? While cherubs across the U.S. dress in a plethora of costumes and Cupid’s undies, it’s not uncommon to see a few runners repping shamrocks with a green get-up. But why is that when Cupid’s Undie Run is a Valentine’s day staple?
Well, we sat down with Jake Burke, co-founder of the non-profit Cure NF With Jack (CNFWJ), and captain of his Cupid’s Undie Run team, to find out why he and his team sport shamrocks and clovers on event day! As a long-time participant of Cupid’s Undie Run, Burke and his 10+ teams across the country have grown to thousands of people and as a non-profit, they’ve raised over $2 million for NF research! Their non-profit is on a mission to find an effective treatment or cure for NF through the funding of research. Board members and parents of Jack, Beth O’Brien Burke, and Jake Burke proudly serve alongside a team of 6 other volunteers. You could say, they put the rock in sham-ROCK!
How did CNFWJ, both as a non-profit and a Cupid’s Undie Run team, come together?
Jake Burke: CNFWJ was founded about 12 years ago to help raise awareness and money for NF. Along the way, we met another family, the amazing Beth and Chad Leathers, and we sat down together to discuss their efforts. About a year later Beth and I attended Cupid’s Undie Run Atlanta to see what it was all about and we were pretty pumped. After attending, we wanted to do more. We knew we had something when the following year we recruited teams from across the country, including Boston, where we had nearly 150 people on our team alone. We worked directly with Chad to help secure Fenway Park as the run location, and over 2 million dollars later and thousands of CNFWJ runners, here we are!
Where are your Cupid’s teams located?
JB: Depending on the year we have teams in Boston, Atlanta, Philly, Austin, Chicago, DC, San Francisco, St. Louis, Detroit, and Nashville.
What made you decide on a shamrock theme?
JB: Jack O’Brien Burke and our Irish-American Heritage helped us with that! Our logo is a 4-leaf clover which many people believe to be a sign of good luck. While we will gladly take the luck (and we have been fortunate to have so many people fighting the fight) we know we need dollars (pot o’ gold) and research to find the cure and treatment for this terrible disorder.
As we deal with the ongoing pandemic, how have your goals and events changed at CNFWJ?
JB: Our goal remains to find a cure. The devastating pandemic will hopefully be gone soon, but as NF remains, so does our fight. Science is why the vaccine for COVID-19 has happened through unprecedented funding, collaboration, and awareness. We want that for NF and other disorders. We know humanity can deliver, and we must.
In what ways do the CNFWJ teams celebrate Cupid’s Undie Run (in a typical year)?
JB: We always put Drew Leathers top of mind and know that he always wants this to be a fun celebration. We do just that, but our hearts always remain a bit heavy when we realize he is no longer with us. However, we continue to take orders from him and in his spirit, so we usually party all day and post-party as well!
For more information on the CNFWJ mission, visit curenfwithjack.com.