(Posted May 23, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“We hit our goal!”
A couple of days after this year’s Rockin’ on the Run, Ashley Winebrenner, one of the event’s organizers, was thrilled to report the annual 5K run/walk and family fun day raised over $25,000.
The money goes to pediatric brain tumor research and psychosocial services for the hematology/oncology/BMT unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The event took place May 19 at St. Patrick School in London. Winebrenner worried that turnout would suffer due to high humidity and the threat of rain.
“But we had more registrations and finishers than we’ve ever had,” she said. “I think people come out anyway because it’s such a good cause.”
More than 400 people registered to run or walk the 3.1-mile course; 324 finished it, including winner, Joshua Mason, 36, of London in a time of 19:56. The first female finisher was Nicole LaSota, 39, of Powell in a time of 23:05.
Also among the finishers was a large contingent of people all dressed in gray in support of Zachary Samuel, a boy from London diagnosed with a brain tumor this past year. Another large group hailed from the pre-veterinary program at Tolles Career and Technical Center; they walked in support of fellow student, Reagyn Semler, a brain cancer survivor.
The 5K wasn’t the only attraction at Rockin’ on the Run. Activity booths, facepainting, caricatures, raffles, and a silent auction featuring hundreds of items also were part of the event.
“One of the new things we did this year was a mystery box,” Winebrenner said. “We gave people clues. There were people standing by it all day, waiting to outbid each other. It went really well! It brought in over $300.” The box contained a computer tablet, a jersey signed by former Ohio State University football player Ezekiel Elliott, and various gift cards.
Winebrenner and her fellow organizers are already looking forward to next year when the event will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The finisher medals will feature a design commemorating the milestone, and the public will be invited to enter a contest to design the shirts given out to survivors.
Rockin’ on the Run 2019 will take place May 18.
Go to rockinontherun.org for details and to read about the children who inspire the event.