'Cupid's Undie Run' brings hundreds out, in their underwear, to raise money for medical research

Hadas Kuznits
February 08, 2020 - 3:57 pm
A group taking part in Cupid's Undie Run, a fundraiser for the Children's Tumor Foundation

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hundreds of people raised money and awareness for a good cause Saturday afternoon, and they did it in their underwear.

About 500 people showed up in their underwear for the 10th annual Cupid’s Undie Run at World Cafe Live in University City. 

"Cupid’s Undie Run is a fundraiser for the Children’s Tumor Foundation," said race director Sandy Frenia, "which is the largest nonprofit dedicated to ending the disorder neurofibromatosis."

Frenia explained that neurofibromatosis, or NF, is a disorder that causes tumors to grow along nerves, which occurs in about 1 in 3,000 people. "There is no cure and very few treatments available," she added.

According to Frenia, about 500 people showed up for the "run." 

"Run is a very loose term," she said. "This is a four-hour party and the run is sandwiched in the middle and the run is optional. A lot of people just go outside and take pictures and come right back in. Some people run, some people don’t even go outside.”

But most people at the event, like Kevin Crawford of Newtown, Pennsylvania, got involved with the cause because they liked the event. "I didn’t have a direct connection (with the disorder), but I had friends who knew I liked to dress up — or not dress up — wear less clothing whenever possible," he said.

Some people participated because they just like to drink in their underwear. "Well, the first time I did it, I wanted a fun, goofy event to do around the Valentine's Day holiday," admitted Bob Germanovich, "but after I found out about the cause, I got committed to it."

Jen Tezbir, who works for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, said no matter what brought people in, she was thrilled that so many people were there. "I love that it’s a great way to get the younger people out," she shared. "It’s also a great relief for all these parents and people going through NF."

In the past decade, Frenia said they raised nearly $20 million across 38 cities for neurofibromatosis research. "We’ve raised about $128,000 today in Philly alone," she revealed.

And folks like Crawford do it at all costs, even shaving a heart into his chest hair. ""I was like, it would be really funny to just shave a heart into my chest," he recalled.