Published on October 14, 2015

Krispy Kreme Challenge announces renaming of UNC Children’s clinic

Since its inception as a charity race in 2006, the Krispy Kreme Challenge has raised nearly $1 million for UNC Children’s and its clinical home, N.C. Children’s Hospital. On Oct. 14, the organization announced the renaming of the N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic to the Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic, along with its commitment to raise an additional $1 million for UNC Children’s.

RALEIGH, N.C.—The Krispy Kreme Challenge today announced the renaming of UNC Children’s Raleigh-based, multispecialty outpatient clinic—formerly called the N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic—to the Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic.

Krispy Kreme ChallengeThe naming opportunity represents the Krispy Kreme Challenge’s commitment to raise a total of $2 million for UNC Children’s—nearly $1 million of which has been raised since the race’s inception as a charity event in 2006. The remaining $1 million will be raised by 2020.

“We cannot imagine a more impactful or promising way to support the community around us than by strengthening our partnership with UNC Children’s,” said Chris Cooper, executive director of logistics for the 2016 Krispy Kreme Challenge and a junior in chemical engineering and economics at N.C. State University. “Collaboration between our organizations has already changed, and will continue to change, the lives of patients and families throughout North Carolina.”

The renaming was announced at an event organized Wednesday morning on the Rex Healthcare campus where the outpatient clinic is located. Representatives from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, and UNC Health Care were in attendance to commemorate the announcement. Attendees included the chancellors of both universities, who offered remarks during the event program.

“As a land grant university, public service has always been a pillar of N.C. State University, and these students are truly leading by example,” said Dr. Randy Woodson, chancellor of N.C. State University. “The collaboration shows how our universities continue to be great partners in research and education.”

“When community-minded students come together like this to help the state’s children, we just couldn’t be any prouder,” said Dr. Carol Folt, chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge started as a friendly dare among 10 N.C. State students in December 2004. After the event received coverage from campus newspapers and was ranked 85th on Sports Illustrated’s “102 More Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate” list, student organizers from N.C. State’s Park Scholars program decided to capitalize on the zany event’s ability to draw crowds and attention by turning the Challenge into a fundraiser for UNC Children’s.

The impetus of the original race was an idea hatched by an N.C. State alumnus, Chris Arbonies, currently a medical resident at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems. He attended the announcement event and described the first race as a product of his musings about what would be the worst food to eat prior to a run.

“I couldn’t be prouder standing here today to say it was my stupid idea—and if left in my hands, it probably wouldn’t have been run once,” Arbonies said, giving a nod to the Park Scholars who turned his “stupid idea” into an internationally known charity event. “The entire community has really rallied around this concept, and it’s grown into something I couldn’t have ever imagined.”

Since its humble beginnings, this ultimate collegiate challenge has seen nearly exponential growth in terms of the numbers of participants and overall money raised. The second annual Krispy Kreme Challenge in January 2006—the race’s first year as a charity run—drew more than 150 runners and netted $800. Last year’s race on Valentine’s Day registered nearly 8,000 and raised more than $200,000.

“The Park Scholars basically run a small business putting on the Krispy Kreme Challenge—and all while going to school,” said Wesley Burks, MD, chief physician of N.C. Children’s Hospital. “Anyone worried about the future of this country should spend just 30 or 40 minutes with these remarkable students. I come away impressed after every interaction.”

“We read about sports rivalries between the universities. What you don’t hear about as much is the tremendous collaborations—and this is one of them,” Burks added.

The Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty clinic opened in November 2008. As an extension of UNC’s multispecialty pediatric outpatient clinic located at N.C. Children’s Hospital—and utilizing the same pediatric specialists—the clinic expanded UNC Children’s outpatient capacity by nearly 50 percent. This helped reduce wait times between appointments and improve access to quality specialty care for children throughout North Carolina. It also enabled UNC Children’s to offer care miles closer to home for families in Wake County and the eastern part of North Carolina.

“We are elated to be naming the Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic,” said Rebekah Millsaps, the race’s executive director of marketing and a junior in business administration and accounting at N.C. State. “Our relationship with UNC Children’s thus far has been extremely meaningful to our committee members, and we can’t wait to see the opportunities that arise with the clinic, especially since it’s so close to N.C. State’s campus.”

The Krispy Kreme Challenge Children’s Specialty Clinic has 15 exam rooms and offers advanced diagnostic technologies, including fetal echocardiography, pediatric cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and Wake County’s only pediatric pulmonary function testing lab. The clinic provides consultations by physician referral in several pediatric disciplines, including allergy and immunology, cardiology, endocrinology and diabetes, gastroenterology, general surgery, genetics and metabolism, hematology (specifically sickle cell), learning and development, pulmonology, and urology.

The clinic also offers evaluation and therapy for feeding and swallowing issues as well as a diagnostic and complex care clinic that offers physician evaluation of children with complex diagnostic dilemmas.


UNC Children’s protects the health and well-being of all North Carolina children, aligning world-class clinical care, advocacy, research and education in our four-tiered mission to “CARE.” As experts in the treatment of children with virtually any disease or disorder, our clinical specialists work hand-in-hand with community hospitals and pediatricians across the state, providing specialty care to more than 70,000 children from all 100 counties each year—always regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

UNC Children’s offers complete inpatient and outpatient care at our 150-bed, state-of-the-art clinical home, N.C. Children’s Hospital, a part of UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. We also bring care “closer to home” through more than two dozen satellite outpatient clinics located throughout North Carolina. Learn more at

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