Rain Doesn’t Dampen Spirits at the 34th Annual 5K Run/Walk for Sickle Cell Anemia
Despite the constant rain, hundreds flooded the neighborhood streets surrounding Jake Gaither Recreation Center and Golf Course Sept. 12 for the 34th Annual 5K Run/Walk for Sickle Cell Anemia.
Covering the areas of Leon, Madison, Jefferson, Wakulla, Taylor, Jackson and Gadsden County, the Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. of Tallahassee has been working throughout the communities as a nonprofit organization since 1980.
Their annual 5K Run/Walk serves as one of their main fundraisers used to raise money placed towards the research for sickle cell anemia.
Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Foundation, Velma Stevens, was thrilled with the outcome being that the weather took an unexpected turn.
“I am beyond thankful that people were able to get out their beds and still participate in the event,” said Stevens. “The weather is just so nasty today, but with the hundreds of people here now, it shows that they really do care.”
Stevens continued to explain how the event is not only here to raise money but to overall educate the community.
“Our main goal with the foundation is to raise awareness. Many people are unaware of the disease and events like this give us a chance to educate the families of the community,” said Stevens.
Race registration began at 7 a.m. and events shortly kicked off with the Tim Simpkins One Mile Fun Run for All. But the majority of participants were excited for the 3.1-mile run/walk that served as the main event of the morning. More than 200 people, of all ages, ran, walked and cheered for joy as they steadily made it over the finish line.
First time participant and receiver of the 1st place walker award, Sylvia Myers, is the Assistant Principle at Kate Sullivan Elementary School and says she is walking for a student at her school who is currently living with sickle cell anemia.
“We had 10 members from our school come out today to run and walk,” said Myers. “It was a great experience and I’m glad that we were able to come out here and represent our student for such a good cause.”
The event closed with families and friends gathering as the winners were announced and received trophies and medals, followed by the DJ playing some music for everyone to enjoy and mingle too.
“We have this event the same time every year, the second Saturday of September and right here at the exact same location,” said Stevens. “I’m looking forward to more families coming out next year.”
For more information about the Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. of Tallahassee or about the sickle cell anemia disease, fell free to contact them at (850) 222-2355 or visit them at 1336 Vickers Road, Tallahassee, FL. 32303.