Frequently Asked Questions

About Starry Night
What is the Starry Night 8.5K?
How long is the walk/run?
Do you provide food and beverages?
Are there any rest/break stops during the walk/run?
What happens if it rains on the event day?
Are pets, strollers, bicycles and inline skaters allowed to participate?
Does every participant get a lantern?
Will my team members receive a lantern, T-shirt and food the evening of the event?
How can my company participate?

Registering/Signing Up
How do I register?
How much does it cost to walk/run?
Does everyone in my group need to register also?
How do I volunteer?

Fundraising/Donating
How does fundraising make a difference?
Where does the money go?
How do I start a fundraising page?
Can I donate or turn in funds on event day?
If I don’t set up a fundraising page, but send in money, what happens?
If I set up a fundraising page for one event and can’t make it, can I apply the funds to a future event?
How long after my event does my fundraising page stay open?
How soon can I start fundraising for next year’s event?
Do I have to start a new fundraising page every year?
If I form a team and I’m the captain, do I have a personal fundraising page as well as a team page? If so, which one should I use to fundraise?
Who are the checks made out to when I am fundraising?
Can I make a donation in memory or in honor of someone?
What is the Rising Star Club?
What is the Shining Star Club?
What is a Rock Star?
How can my company sponsor the Starry Night 8.5K?

Incentives
What fundraising incentives do you offer?
How long will it take to get my incentive item?
If donations come in after my event, how do I upgrade my incentives?

Star families
How do families of patients and survivors (Stars) register?
Will my child be able to participate if he/she has special needs?


About Starry Night

What is the Starry Night 8.5K?
The Pediatric Brain Tumor’s Starry Night 8.5K program is a national series of walk/runs that raise funds to support research and family service programs for our Stars, children with brain tumors. Individuals and groups can form fundraising teams, and businesses can offer their support through sponsorships. These fundraising efforts are celebrated at an evening walk/run event where participants light the nighttime sky with hundreds of lanterns to symbolize hope for a cure and honor our Stars.

How long is the walk/run?
The walk/run is 8.5K (roughly 5.28 miles) or 28,000 feet, one foot for each American child living with a brain tumor today. This route will include at least two laps, allowing walkers to complete a shorter distance. Depending on what time you arrive, and whether you stay for the lantern lighting ceremony, the entire event can last up to four hours.

Do you provide food and beverages?
All our events include water and snacks for runners and walkers. Additional food items are available for participants who raise $100 or more. You can also purchase food at the event.

Are there any rest/break stops during the walk/run?
Yes. We provide water stations along the route. We encourage all runners and walkers to take breaks as needed.

What happens if it rains on the event day?
Children’s brain tumors show up rain or shine, and so do we!

Are pets, strollers, bicycles and inline skaters allowed to participate?
Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome. However, for everyone's safety, bicycles, inline skates, wheelie footwear, skateboards and scooters are not permitted. Please leave your pets at home as well.

Does every participant get a lantern?
Participants who raise $100 or more are Rising Stars and will receive a collectible T-shirt, food and a lantern to decorate and hang during the lighting ceremony at the event. Participants who raise less than $100 are welcome to join us for an inspirational evening that includes music, games, entertainment and camaraderie, but they do not qualify for a lantern, T-shirt or food. However, Stars (pediatric brain tumor patients and survivors) receive these benefits regardless of their fundraising level. Food and beverages are for sale during the event.

Will my team members receive a lantern, T-shirt and food the evening of the event?
Each team member who becomes a Rising Star by raising $100 or more will receive these benefits.

How can my company participate?
Businesses may participate by organizing teams of employees, friends, neighbors and family members to raise money and walk/run in the event. The Starry Night 8.5K also offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities and marketing benefits. We also welcome corporate volunteer teams. Email us for more information.


Registering/Signing Up

How do I register?
Choose your local event to sign up, or come to the registration area on the day of the event. Registration times vary. Online registration closes at noon Eastern on the Friday before your event. Onsite registration closes 30 minutes before the walk/run begins.

How much does it cost to walk/run?
There’s no charge to participate in our events, but please remember that our mission is to help kids with one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer. We encourage a minimum donation of $100 per person. It’s easy to raise funds! Just ask 10 friends for $10 each, and before you know it you’ll earn an event T-shirt, food and a lantern to decorate and hang during the lighting ceremony.

Does everyone in my group need to register?
Yes, please! Everyone should preregister online or sign in at the event.

How do I volunteer?
From parking to distributing lunch to helping with event registration, volunteer efforts are critical to the success of the Starry Night 8.5K. We welcome individual and corporate volunteers. Email us for more information.


Fundraising/Donating

How does fundraising make a difference?
Our mission is to eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors. We do this by funding cutting-edge medical research and by providing support services to children and their families during their cancer journey. Learn more about the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s mission.

Where does the money go?
Donations fund medical research grants and family support programs at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The researchers we fund specialize in childhood brain tumors. Their results are leading to new treatment protocols that are shared with neuro-oncologists and neurosurgeons around the country. We also offer family support services in local communities, including free educational resources, financial assistance to families and college scholarships for brain tumor survivors. Also, a portion of all Starry Night 8.5K revenue will fund a family services program in each Starry Night city.

How do I start a fundraising page?
It’s easy! Personal fundraising pages are built in to our website. This allows us to track donations in real time, and makes it simple and convenient for you to customize your page and email your friends and family to ask for their support. After you register, you’ll be prompted to start fundraising. You can customize your page to connect with your supporters and tell your story. You can even link your YouTube videos or upload a personal photo. Email us if you need assistance.

Can I donate or turn in funds on event day?
Yes! We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, cash and personal checks made payable to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Bring your funds to the registration tent. Email us to request a donation collection envelope in advance.

Stars and their families who do not raise $100 or more and who want to be a part of the event are encouraged to attend as our guests. Patients, survivors and immediate family members receive all benefits (T-shirt, lantern and food) regardless of the fundraising level achieved.

If I don’t set up a fundraising page, but send in money, what happens?
PBTF staff will create a fundraising page on your behalf, depending on the donation type. If this is the case, we will contact you by phone or email. Call 800-253-6530 or email us with questions.

If I set up a fundraising page for one event and can’t make it, can I apply the funds to a future event?
Yes, but this does pose some accounting challenges. Call us at 800-253-6530 or email us if this happens.

How long after my event does my fundraising page stay open?
Your page will be open for fundraising and you will receive incentive credit for 10 days after the current year’s event takes place. You have 30 days to redeem your incentive.

How soon can I start fundraising for next year’s event?
Keep your fundraising momentum going and get a head start on next year! You can begin fundraising for the following year’s event about 31 days after the current year’s event.

Do I have to start a new fundraising page every year?
No. You’ll be able to reactivate and update your fundraising page as soon as online registration opens for the following season, about 31 days after the current year’s event. You can reuse the same web address (URL) for your page, too. Email us for details.

If I form a team and I’m the captain, do I have a personal fundraising page, as well as a team page? If so, which one should I use to fundraise?
It really depends on your goal. If you want to share the funds with other people for incentives purposes, use the team page for fundraising. As a team captain, you can use your team page to encourage and support your team members. You can also assign portions of your team’s collected donations to individual team members for incentive purposes. If you do not plan to split the funds for incentive credit, use your own fundraising page to collect donations.

Who are the checks made out to when I am fundraising?
All checks should be made payable to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation or PBTF. If someone gives you cash or writes a check payable to you, deposit the funds in your checking account and write us a check for the total. Mail funds to PBTF, 302 Ridgefield Ct., Asheville, NC 28806. Be sure to include your name and your event, as well as each donor's name, address and gift amount. You can also bring cash and checks written to PBTF to the registration area on the day of the event. Email us to request a donation collection envelope.

Can I make a donation in memory or in honor of someone?
Yes. When you choose this option on your donation form, you’ll be able to enter the honoree’s name and, if applicable, the notification address.

What’s the Rising Star Club?
Become a Rising Star by raising $100 or more and receive a collectible Starry Night 8.5K T-shirt, lantern and food at the event.

What’s the Shining Star Club?
You can become a member of our Shining Star Club by raising $1,000 or more, which will have a significant impact on our mission. Members of the Shining Star Club receive a long-sleeve T-shirt as well as the event T-shirt, plus a lantern and food at the event. They also qualify for an additional incentive item.

What’s a Rock Star?
Raise $5,000 or more to become a Rock Star. You’ll get access to the VIP tent at the event and other exclusive perks, plus a long-sleeve T-shirt, an event T-shirt, lantern and food at the event. Rock Stars will also qualify for an additional incentive item.

How can a company sponsor the Starry Night 8.5K?
Starry Night 8.5K events rely heavily on community partnerships in order to help our Stars and their families. We work with local businesses, large corporations and similar childhood cancer organizations to ensure the success of every Starry Night 8.5K event. If you or someone you know is interested in partnering with Starry Night 8.5K in your community, please contact us.


Incentives

What fundraising incentives do you offer?
Depending on the amount you raise, you’ll qualify for a variety of incentive items, including T-shirts, tote bags and jackets. See the complete list of fundraising incentives.

How long will it take to get my incentive item?
T-shirts, food and lanterns will be distributed at the event. If you raised more than $500, you’ll choose one additional item online after the event and our vendor will ship it to you. If you don’t receive your incentive within one month, email us and we’ll put you in touch with the fulfillment company. If your item is the wrong size or needs to be replaced for any reason, contact the vendor directly.

If donations come in after my event, how do I upgrade my incentives?
Your fundraising page will accept donations for 30 days after the current year’s event takes place. You can redeem your incentives right away, or you can continue to receive incentive credit for 0 days after the current year’s event takes place. The week after your Starry Night 8.5K is a great time to increase your fundraising goal and reach the next incentive level.


Star Families

How do Star families register?
Families of children with brain tumors register just as other Starry Night 8.5K participants do. Choose your local event to get started, or come to the registration area on the day of the event. Registration times vary by event. Online registration closes at noon Eastern on the Friday before your event. Onsite registration closes 30 minutes before the walk/run departs.

Will my child be able to participate if he/she has special needs?
Of course! We encourage children with special needs to participate. Our Stars are our guests, and we will make every effort to cater to their needs. The 8.5K course is wheelchair accessible.