The Butterfly Run Presented by Big Lots Foundation Premieres in Arizona November 11

October 10, 2017

One in every five children under the age of 18 is coping with a mental or behavioral disorder.  Big Lots Foundation is presenting The Butterfly Run to increase national awareness, break stigmas and raise funds for much-needed behavioral health research to help children and adolescents everywhere who are living with mental and behavioral health disorders.

David Campisi, CEO and President of Big Lots, commented, “We are taking a bold stand to raise awareness and break stigmas surrounding mental health challenges for our kids.  We are proud to bring our inaugural Butterfly Run to the engaged communities of Tempe and Phoenix where we are confident our customers and our associates will enthusiastically support our efforts.”

Proceeds from the Butterfly Run will benefit behavioral health research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one of America’s largest pediatric hospitals and research centers. The research mission of non-profit Nationwide Children’s is to gather new knowledge and share it globally to improve outcomes for children everywhere.  Seventy-five percent of lifetime mental illnesses are present by age 24 and less than 50 percent of children are getting the care they need.  With the soaring demand for treatment comes a steep rise in the complexity and severity of their illnesses.  Additionally, more research is needed to understand not only the causes behind increasing rates of behavioral health issues in children but to determine the best treatments to improve outcomes and reduce increasing suicide rates among children and teens.

Last year, Big Lots and the Big Lots Foundation announced a $50 million transformational gift to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to support the hospital’s behavioral health expansion, including the construction of an eight-story 250,000 square foot treatment and research pavilion on the hospital's main campus.  The Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion, slated to open in 2020, is the first facility of its kind on a pediatric hospital campus entirely focused on children and adolescents with behavioral and mental health needs.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is honored and grateful for Big Lots’ support directed to the vital issue of child and adolescent behavioral health. This is a bold commitment from a tremendous partner,” said David Axelson, MD, Chief of Psychiatry at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  “By making this major commitment to meet such a critical need, Big Lots is helping to transform children’s healthcare for generations to come.”

Kiwanis Park, 101 W. Baseline Road in Tempe, is the site of the November 11, 2017, Butterfly Run, which includes a 5K, 10K and Kids Run, all with a 7 a.m. check in and 8 a.m. start time. Participants in this family-friendly event will receive a t-shirt, distinctive butterfly-shaped medal and post-race brunch and activities on-site in Big Lots’ “Butterfly Village.”   More information about the Butterfly Run and registration information can be found at


Andy Regrut, Big Lots, Inc. 614.278.6622

Jeff Crane, Start Line Racing Race Director 480.912.7878

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Media Relations 614.355.0495

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at