The Butterfly Run Presented by Big Lots Foundation Returns to Tempe/Phoenix Region Nov. 3

October 24, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH – One in five children is living with a mental illness. To help increase national awareness, break the stigma and raise funds for much-needed childhood behavioral health research, the Big Lots Foundation presents “The Butterfly Run.”

The event is returning to the Tempe/Phoenix, Ariz., region after the city hosted the first-ever Butterfly Run last year. Additional Butterfly Runs took place in Columbus, Ohio, during this past summer and in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this fall.

A family-fitness event focusing on reducing the stigma often associated with childhood mental illness, The Butterfly Run also will feature Butterfly Village where families can participate in pre and post-race activities.

“Serving everyone like family is at the heart of our mission,” said Tim Johnson, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Big Lots. “Each mile means more hope for children and their families dealing with these challenges. Every step we take is a step toward better understanding behavioral health.”

Proceeds from The Butterfly Run will benefit behavioral health research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Children’s is America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center and as part of its research mission, it strives to gather new knowledge and share it globally to improve outcomes for children everywhere.

Fifty percent of all lifetime mental illnesses start by age 14 and with the soaring demand for mental health treatment for young people comes a steep rise in the complexity and severity of their illnesses. Together, we can work toward a new future that overcomes the stigma often associated with mental and behavioral health conditions, while also linking arms to fund research into the causes and best treatment options.

In 2016, Big Lots and Big Lots Foundation announced a $50 million transformational gift to construct the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Scheduled to open in 2020, the Pavilion will be a freestanding facility fully dedicated to children and adolescents with behavioral health conditions. It will be the largest behavioral health treatment and research center dedicated to children and adolescents on a pediatric medical campus in the U.S.

“It’s hard to imagine it has already been a year since the very first Butterfly Run in Phoenix,” said Steve Testa, president, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “It is fitting to end this year’s schedule of runs in the Tempe/Phoenix area, the city where this exciting event began. On behalf of all the patients, families and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I want to thank Big Lots and their wonderful associates for making these runs fun and interactive for all the participants and continuing the important conversation about childhood mental health.”

Kiwanis Park (101 West Baseline Rd., Tempe, Ariz., 85283) is the site for the Nov. 3 Butterfly Run, which will include a 10K, 5K and 1 Mile Family Walk. Check in for both events is 7 a.m. with the 10K beginning at 8 a.m., the 5K starting at 8:10 a.m. and the family walk beginning at 8:20 a.m. To register and for more information, log on to and select the Phoenix/Tempe location.  

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