Slideshow: Inaugural Children’s Cancer Run a Big Success
The much-anticipated Run to Fight Children’s Cancer 5K/10K took place Saturday at GCU, and the outcome couldn’t have been better.
Thanks to sponsors, volunteers, walkers, runners and countless supporters, GCU was able to present a check worth $20,000 to the Children’s Cancer Network, the event’s beneficiary.
“With over 900 runners registered and 1,500 people on campus, it’s safe to say this was a huge success,” said Community Outreach Manager Jose Moreno, who served as race director. “I have received email after email from runners who have complimented us on how well-organized and smooth everything was, many saying they couldn’t believe this was a first-year race.”
The inaugural run, in what is hoped to be an annual event, far exceeded expectations. The event, the brainchild of Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs William Jenkins, was two years in the making.
“This has been a dream of mine for a long time,” Jenkins said. “Ever since I was diagnosed with colon cancer and ran in a colon cancer race, I’ve wanted GCU to be able to do something to support the fight against cancer.
“It was absolutely fantastic for a first-year event, and I can see it continuing to grow and provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fight cancer.”
With sponsors donating enough to cover the expenses, all of the proceeds from registration went to the cause.
“Children’s Cancer Network was able to receive a check to help families deal with the burden of childhood cancer,” Moreno said. “All of the hard work and dedication from the many volunteers and faculty and staff of GCU helped to make this possible, and we are grateful.”
Patti Luttrell, the founder of the Children’s Cancer Network and an adjunct faculty member at GCU, was impressed.
“GCU was so generous, and this money will go a long way to help so many Arizona families dealing with childhood cancer,” Luttrell said. “It is absolutely fabulous.”
The event was more than just a race. With mascots from all of the professional sports teams and four players from the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers in attendance, as well as a bounce house, face painting, a craft table and a Survivor’s Walk around the intramural fields, the day was a fun-filled affair for the entire community to come out and show its support.
“The survivors had a wonderful time,” Luttrell said. “There was a sense of hope and a tremendous sense of unity from all of the families in attendance connecting with each other and all those who came out to support them. It was a really special day.”
Reach Jennifer Willis at 639.7383 or Jennifer.email@example.com.