Wow. It is so hard to put into words this day… For those who have not been following the events, Gwen’s co-workers at Cleveland High decided to put on a 5K fundraiser to support Gwen and her fight against lung cancer.
Guys, I am not sure any of us even realized the enormity of this event, for something that was put together in a relatively short period of time and spread through word of mouth basically. First of all, the number of registrants was over 500. They had to start handwriting numbers on homemade bibs – and there were legit bibs! And the race couldn’t start on time because there were about 200 people who registered the morning of the event, so yes, the awesome volunteers running the tables for registration got a bit swamped, but they were great!
Secondly, there were great food sales – BBQ chicken plates and a bake sale – also run by awesome volunteers. Thirdly, there was a little table run by some cute, blond ten year old girls selling lung cancer awareness bracelets for aunt Gwen. Kenlee barely slept in anticipation of this sale the night before. Next, some wonderful folks donated inflatables and superheroes and princesses, as well as some other activities going on in the gym, for the kiddos as the 5K was going on outside.
So, the 5K itself… Although there were over 500 registrants, we figure that over 400 participated as some that registered weren’t able to make it. We had just had a snow/ice event that kept us out of school for the week, and the race time temp was somewhere in the low 40s. We also figure that between the family, friends, friends of friends, coworkers, volunteers, students, and generally awesome people, there were likely around 900 people in attendance!
It was overwhelming. The high school kids manning the corners on the course were also awesome. They stood out in the cold and cheered everyone on; even the stragglers mom and dad who walked…but still finished in under an hour. The reward for finishing was a lovely high five from Gwen! Unless you were Scott, in which case, this was what you got:
After the big people race, there were little kid races!
And a presentation to Gwen and Justin of funds raised prior to race day – just from registration T-shirt sales!
Seriously, the support is overwhelming and amazing! We cannot even begin to adequately thank all the people who put together the day and all the people who traveled from near and far to participate. The whole family feels blessed by the number of people who have donated their time and are touched by the monetary donations by family, great friends, coworkers, neighbors, and even people who haven’t a clue who Gwen is! As one girl who was running said, “Our team is here running because our Coach knows someone who knows someone.” How cool is that?
Here is Gwen and a small sampling of our family – the ones that made it to the 5K – some from FL, NY, DE, NC.
Gwen kept up her energy for the race day events, but by last night was pretty wiped out! She was too tired to make it to church this morning to hear our lovely preacher, Pastor Betty, summarize her sermon with the following, which I feel like also summarizes yesterday pretty well also:
You are a child of God.
You are deeply, deeply loved, and you are not alone.
If you remember this, you will get through 40 days, 40 years, of wilderness to enter the promised land.