Sure there are plenty of 5k races in the area, but the upcoming 5k for Kelli is particularly close to my heart, as well as many other people in the Dayton area. Kelli James, a beloved wife, mother and sister, passed away in 2006 at the age of 40 to that cruel beast known as breast cancer. Kelli’s two ambitious sisters, Elesha Snyder and Mandi Moore, set to work. They wanted to honor their sister and help others going through this horrific situation.
Elesha explains the motivation for this race: “She was a very healthy person who never smoked or drank, and enjoyed outdoor activities. She was always so much fun and encouraged those around her to live life to the fullest. As you can imagine, losing her was devastating, not just to us, but to her two young children as well.”
She continues: “We wallowed in our depression for a few years but then Mandi and I decided to take action. We started by running and walking charity events that raised money for breast cancer charities like Susan G. Komen and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. In 2012, we decided to do our own 5k and 5k for Kelli was born. The first event was in August 2013 and we had over 300 participants. In two years, the 5k for Kelli has raised about 15,000 and given it to Hospice of Dayton, The Noble Circle Project and Good Sam. We received the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation’s Community Champion Award for 2013 and the Dayton Dragon’s Community All-Star Award in 2015. We are 100% volunteer based and there are ZERO administrative fees in our organization. We are a registered 501(c)(3).”
This year, Elesha and Mandi have created their very own charity in memory of Kelli called Breast Wishes. They grant wishes and give the gift of joy to local women and their families affected by breast cancer by presenting them with spa days, nice dinners, yoga retreats, and even family vacations.
This race has some great assets: First, it’s run at the gorgeous Wegerzyn Gardens Metro Park. Any excuse to see that park in the summertime is well worth it! Second, in honor of Kelli’s fondness of fairies, runners are encouraged to wear wings, flower crowns, and/or tutus during the race. What fun! Lastly and most importantly, 100% of the funds raised from this event will go to supporting local women living with breast cancer to help with nutrition, education, medical expenses, and the new “Breast Wishes” fund.
How to go? Here are the details:
5k for Kelli – Charity Run/Walk
Saturday, August 15th, 2015
7:30am – Registration Opens
9:00am – Run/Walk Begins
10:00am – Costume Contest
10:30am – Awards Ceremony
11:00am – Raffle Drawings
1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave Dayton, Ohio 45414
Cost for registration: $25
Online Charitable Donation at: 5k for Kelli PayPal Donation
Don’t have any fairy attire? Don’t worry! The Merchandise Booth will be stocked with cool fairy gear for you to purchase on race day – with proceeds going towards our charities.