Garrettsville – The First Annual 5K Run /1 Mile Walk for kids cancer research was a smashing success as the Summerfest committee presented a check for $2450 to Friends of Melana. The $2450 presented was the proceeds from this year’s race and will be used to fund research for this horrific disease. The race, which was held during Summerfest, was a benefit for kid’s glioma cancer in memory of Melana Matson who left us all too soon.

The event attracted 120 runners and about 40 walkers willing to put the sneakers on for a good cause. At 9am sharp the gun sounded and the runners were off. A few minutes later the walkers hit the streets with the event lasting about an hour. After the last runner returned the times were tallied, and the race awards were presented. The runners and walkers then converged on Slim and Jumbos for a post race party. This year’s race was organized by Windham high School Senior Jacob Vaughan with the help of a former Boston Marathon runner, Diana Morris and timer Jim Chaney.

These three handled pre-registration, timing of racers, mapping out the route coordinating the sheriff, local officials, marketing the race and working with the SummerFest committee to make the event successful. Plans for next years event are already in the works and the committee looks forward to making next year’s race bigger and better. Next year’s race is tentatively scheduled for June 24, 2012.  The group, Friends of Melana (FOM), was originally a prayer support group for the Matson family while Melana was under going treatment for the disease. In October of 2009 Melana earned her angel’s wings, so the group shifted their focus in 2011 from a support group to a fundraising group. FOM are committed to raising funds for Glioma Cancer research.

The group has a fundraiser mystery dinner slated for September 10, 2011 at the Mantua Knights of Columbus Hall, with the doors opening at 6pm. The dinner will be catered by Special Moments Catering and the mystery will be presented by the Curtains up Theatre. There will  be a 50/50 raffle and a Chinese auction at the dinner as well. Tickets are $40 each and are available at Miller’s Restaurant and Huntington Bank, both are in Garrettsville. One may also call 330 527-5720 for tickets or more information about the dinner.