Rockin’ on the Run returns to full, in-person event

(Posted Feb. 27, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

After two years as a virtual event due to the pandemic and one year off to rest and regroup, organizers of Rockin’ on the Run are excited to return this year with a full-on, in-person extravaganza.

“We’re hoping the event is bigger and better than ever,” said Ashley Winebrenner, Rockin’ on the Run board member.

The 14th Annual Rockin’ on the Run, a fundraiser benefiting pediatric brain tumor research and awareness, will take place from 8 a.m. to noon May 20 at St. Patrick School, 226 Elm St., London.

The run part of the fun includes a kids’ dash at 8:30 a.m. followed by a one-mile run/walk and a 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. Everyone who participates receives a t-shirt and medal. New this year, a deejay will pump out tunes and announce the names of participants as they approach the finish line. Visit Rockin’ on the Run Sign-up to register. A virtual option is included.

Along with the opportunity to pound the pavement, Rockin’ on the Run offers a morning full of family-friendly activities. Caricaturists, a face painter, games and bounce houses are planned. The silent auction will be back in its full glory with themed baskets of goods filling tables in the school gym. Plenty of raffle items will be up for grabs, a 50/50 raffle is planned, and several vendors will set up shop, as well.

Every year, Rockin’ on the Run honors area children who have battled or are battling brain tumors. This year, organizers will pay tribute to a total of 14 children.

“The children and families affected by brain tumors come to our event and get to feel normal. It’s always our goal that they have a fun day with their families,” Winebrenner said.

Rockin’ on the Run has another goal.

“We hope to raise $30,000. It’s the biggest goal we’ve ever set,” Winebrenner said.

For many years, the event’s proceeds have gone to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for research purposes and the hospital’s fun fund for patients. This year, organizers have added a third beneficiary–Books 4 Brains.

Books 4 Brains is a collaboration of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University, Rockin’ on the Run, and an Indiana-based non-profit that provides books to young people. The hospital reached out to the non-profit, seeking books to give to young patients that address issues related to how the patients are feeling and what they are dealing with post-diagnosis.

As for the Ohio-Indiana connection, Dr. Scott Coven, a doctor in Riley Hospital’s neuro-oncology program, once served as a fellow at Children’s Hospital in Columbus. He was active in Rockin’ on the Run, speaking at the event a couple of times and participating with his family in the run.

When the book idea came along last year, Coven reached out to Rockin’ on the Run to help fund the program. To his knowledge, there are no organizations in Indiana raising money specifically for pediatric brain tumor research and awareness. So, he called on his friends in Ohio.

“This is a great program that could be helpful for any pediatric diagnosis, not just brain tumors,” Winebrenner said.

The book program will start this spring with 20 patients.

Even though Rockin’ on the Run did not take place last year, the organization still received donations from supporters and held its annual chicken noodle dinner in the fall. Those proceeds went to pay for parking passes for families with children receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital. Some of this year’s Rockin’ on the Run funds could go to creative, helpful solutions like this.

Go to www.rockinontherun.org to learn more about the event. To volunteer, send email to volunteers@rockinontherun.org. To request a vendor application, send email to ashley@rockinontherun.org. To donate items for the silent auction or raffle, send email to info@rockinontherun.org.

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