Emily’s Rainbow Run raises $15,000 for pediatric cancer research
Rain gave way to sunny skies at the start of Emily’s Rainbow Run held at Westlake High School on Sunday, April 25. Over 625 participants took to the streets and track racing in either the 4-mile race, 2-mile run/walk or Kids Run in memory of Emily Lewis, a 12-year-old Westlake resident who passed away in August 2009 after courageously battling pediatric cancer for three years.
Emily’s parents, John and Debbie Lewis, proudly announced that proceeds from the event will allow Emily’s Rainbow Fund to donate $15,000 for pediatric cancer research at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Race festivities began with the presentation of the “Emily Lewis Youth in Philanthropy Award.” Dr. John Letterio, chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Rainbow explained that the award is to be given annually to a young person who demonstrates Emily’s qualities of enthusiasm, spirit and zest for life in philanthropic support of Rainbow’s children. This year’s recipient was Abby Villaneuve who raised $7,000 for Rainbow through an online auction she hosted.
Coupled with this year’s event was the Pot of Gold Pledge Program. Individuals elected to participate by asking family, friends and co-workers to donate to Emily’s Rainbow Fund. Seventeen Pot of Gold Pledge Program participants generated over $3,300. Paul Nebraska raised the greatest amount of funds ($573) and won the Cleveland Indians package which included 12 tickets to an upcoming Cleveland Indians game in a luxury suite.
Closing ceremonies featured a raffle and awards presentation. Overall race winners recognized included:
Scott Snow (21:22) & Jessica Wieber (27:13): Overall 4-Mile Male & Female Winners
Bob Thomas (25:04) & Marlene Bloomfield (27:39): Overall Masters 4-Mile Male & Female Winners
Ben Lew (14:57) & Nora Lee (14:27): Overall 2-Mile Male & Female Winners (ages 13 & under)
Aaron Brown (13:34) & Nora Lee (15:36): Overall 2-Mile Male & Female Winners (ages 14-18)
John Hurley (13:19) & Michelle Hock (17:46): Overall 2-Mile Male & Female Winners (ages 19 & over)
All Kids Run participants won a participation ribbon. Afterwards, many enjoyed a pancake breakfast hosted by the Westlake Kiwanis in the WHS cafeteria.
Race organizers contribute the continued success of Emily’s Rainbow Run to the support and generosity of Westlake City Schools, the City of Westlake, the Westlake Kiwanis and its race sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers and participants. It is their hope that this collaborative effort will make a difference in pediatric cancer research.
The third annual Emily's Rainbow Run and Wellness Walk is slated for Sunday, April 10, 2011. For more information or to donate to Emily's Rainbow Fund, visit www.EmilysRainbowFund.org.
Cathy Milowicki is the race director for Emily's Rainbow Run.