Rockin’ on the Run raises $25,000 for brain tumor research

Photos courtesy of Rooted Photo & Farm
Runners and walkers take off at the start of the 2023 Rockin’ on the Run one-mile and 5K events. The courses started and finished at St. Patrick School in London.

(Posted May 31, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Though the weather was dreary, spirits were bright at the 14th Annual Rockin’ on the Run, held May 20 at St. Patrick School in London. The event raises money for pediatric brain tumor awareness and research.

A total of 270 people registered to participate in the 5K run/walk, one-mile run/walk, and children’s fun run. Of those, 170 showed up on race morning. The rain cleared out just in time for the 8:30 a.m. start of the kids’ fun run after which the one-mile and 5K events started.

Showing off their Rockin’ on the Run finisher medals are: (from left) Jessica Cooper, Gavan Cooper, James Wendler, and Juliet Wendler, all of London.

The top male finishers in the over-18 category were Michael Browning of Columbus with a time of 24:19 and J. Cole Sanford of London (26:17). The top female finishers in the over-18 category were Rachel Barends of Columbus (26:35) and Jess Earley of Springfield (29:01).

The top male finisher under-18 was Vance Moerch of London (27:57). The top female finisher under-18 was Natasha Grube of Mount Sterling (29:19).

Marcus Stone, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Patrick School and an assistant football coach at London High School, closes his eyes as another whipped cream pie comes flying his way.

“We had registrations from Ohio, Indiana, and Virginia this year,” said Ashley Winebrenner, Rockin’ on the Run board member. “We had registration ages from 1 year old to 96 years old. This goes to show we have something to do for every age at our event. We are truly family friendly!”

In addition to the race and fun run, the 2023 Rockin’ on the Run included an auction, children’s activities, chances to throw whipped cream pies in the faces of local celebrities, and more.

Ryan Antle, 8, sang the National Anthem at the 2023 Rockin’ on the Run. Antle will be a third-grader at London Elementary this fall. After experiencing seizures, he was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor near his vision centerin December 2018. He is no longer on seizure medication, and his brain scans remain stable.

While this year’s effort fell $5,000 short of the committee’s $30,000 goal, Winebrenner said she and the other volunteers involved in the event are happy with the results.

“This was our first year back in a while. It was nice to see that people still wanted to support our cause,” she said. “Coming off of COVID and with the way the economy is, we’re still impressed with the fundraising amount we hit.”

Rockin’ on the Run took place virtually for two years during the pandemic. Last year, the group took a year off to rest and regroup. This year marked the event’s return to full, in-person operations.

Reagyn Semler speaks about the transition to being an adult with a childhood cancer. Diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 5, Reagyn is now 22.

The 2023 proceeds will be split between Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and Books 4 Brains at Riley Hospital for Children in Indiana.

“We are looking at other ways to fundraise as we move forward,” Winebrenner said. “We’re thinking about adding more events through the year, so people have multiple opportunities to support us.”

This fall, Rockin’ on the Run will hold its annual chicken and noodles dinner on Sept. 25, 4-7 p.m., at M&M Diner in London.

To learn more about Rockin’ on the Run, including ways to donate and support the cause, visit or The group is looking for more board members, especially individual who are tech-savvy.

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