On April 5th 2014 nearly 600 people gathered on a frigid day in Olathe to take a stand against Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Planning of The Second Annual BUG RUN began exactly 363 days earlier. The groups of volunteers that have worked on the BUG RUN for the last year have been nothing short of amazing. We would not be able to fit an adequate number of Thank Yous in this blog. We are completely blown away on a regular basis by those around us and their dedication to the fight against SMA.
The BUG RUN race director Amy Vrban does an amazing job getting (and keeping) everything in order. She has a spectacular group of people who each do their part perfectly. Big giant thank yous to Cathy, Jennifer, Melissa, Melissa, Katie, Andrea, John, Lori, Jennifer, Suzie, Michelle, Joanne, Leslie, Allison, and Julie. Beyond this core we had close to 150 volunteers the day of the race as well as so many people simply spreading the word. THANK YOU.
We couldn’t hold the event if it wasn’t for our amazing sponsors, many of whom were sponsors for the second year in a row. Thank You so much.
The goal was to make this year better, and hopefully bigger. Both goals were substantially surpassed. Our emcee, Patrick Fazio of 41 Action News and Kristin kept the crowd engaged with commentary and SMA trivia leading up to the start of the race.
Kristin Burks, Patrick Fazio, and Amy Vrban
The big surprise for Kristin and I came when Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland presented a proclamation that the day would be known as Jadon’s Hope Day. I could barely keep my emotions off my cheek when I thought of the city recognizing the disease as well as the foundation. You can’t cry in front of the Mayor!
Mayor Mike Copeland presenting a proclamation.
Michelle Boucher singing the National Anthem.
The National Anthem was amazing.
61 balloons for 61 angels.
61 balloons were released in honor of the 61 angels that gained their wings in the year since the last BUG RUN. This portion of the day was extremely emotional for us as we thought of those 61 families who go to bed at night wishing they had just one more day with their little ones. These are kiddos whose stories we have followed, some we have met personally, but all have touched our hearts. There are so many others who don’t even know about because they don’t make a connection and possibly don’t have the support they desire. We want every family who wants help to get it. We want every family who has lost a child to know they WILL NOT be forgotten.
“I RUN IN HONOR OF” stickers.
This year runners had the option of running for an SMA child. They simply chose a sticker from 60 SMA warriors/angels. The runners dedicated their run to these kiddos from across the country. One of the SMA kids who was being run for received the medal his runner won at the race. How amazing is that?
Custom shirts, bibs, and medals
Top 3 runners!
Ricardo Medellin 2nd Place
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE LIST OF RESULTS
The Bitty BUG RUN
Kids under 5 run in the Bitty BUG RUN. Do you know who won?
WE ALL DID…because their all so darn cute!
Kids helping kids will pull at our heart strings every single time.
It was truly an amazing day and we are blessed to live in a community that is willing to stand beside us, put on a cape and fight this horrible disease. SMA is hard, very hard, but to feel the love that surrounds us makes the fight seem a little easier. It is that feeling that we want to pass on to other SMA families, that feeling of inclusion. That inclusion may be what some families need just to fight one more day, and then another, and then another.
We will see you you next year for ANOTHER BUG RUN!!!!!!
Mark your calendar- APRIL 4th 2015
Three strong SMA Mommas.
Pictures courtesy of Jeff Lentz. Thank you Jeff!