WinterKids has been chosen as beneficiary of the 2018 TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race.

The aim of the Portland-based nonprofit organization is to help children develop healthy lifelong habits through education and fun outdoor winter activity. Founded in 1997, WinterKids is best known for its Passport that allows all Maine fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students free and discounted tickets, lessons and rentals at 50 areas throughout the state, from downhill and cross-country skiing to ice skating and snow tubing.

The organization also offers innovative outdoor education programs for preschools and elementary schools statewide, and two years ago expanded to include New Hampshire schools.

“WinterKids is a fantastic organization that encourages kids and their families to get outdoors and be active, so they can enjoy our Maine weather year-round,” said Larry Wold, president of TD Bank in Maine, in a prepared statement. “We couldn’t be happier to have them on board and continue the tradition of great organizations we have had the privilege to work with.”

Each year since its inception in 1998 the race has designated a different charity focused on helping young Mainers. WinterKids will receive a $30,000 donation from the TD Charitable Foundation and can raise more through the race’s charity bib program. Last month WinterKids hosted its third annual Winter Festival at Payson Park in Portland and drew more than 1,000 participants for sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating.

There was also a month-long winter health challenge among 16 Maine schools dubbed the 2018 Winter Games.

Online registration for the 21st Beach to Beacon, scheduled for Aug. 4, will be held March 15 for up to 600 residents of Cape Elizabeth and March 16 for 4,000 slots available to the general public. A lottery for the remaining 1,950 slots will run from March 16-25.

Organizers are trying something called a controlled queue entry process that creates a virtual line when the registration window opens both mornings at 7 o’clock, thereby allowing more time to fill out the form’s various fields.

“While we are limited in our ability to increase the field size of the race,” said Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic gold medalist and race founder, “we wanted to find a way to make the registration process smoother and more efficient for all involved.”

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