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Friends of Melana Announce Summerfest Race Plans

Friends of Melana (FOM) will hold their Fourth Annual Memorial 5k and 1 mile run/walk at Garrettsville Summerfest, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 9am. Proceeds from the event are used to fund research for kid’s cancer specifically for Gliomas. Participants are asked to register at www.stopkidscancer.org and click on events. The cost is $25 per runner and $15 for the fun run/walk.

Folks might also want to obtain additional individual sponsors. The sponsor form is available at www.stopkidscancer.org. Click on events, then on sponsorship form. Those who raise a minimum of $50 in individual pledges can have their ticket costs reimbursed from Eventbrite if they so choose. Monies raised through individual pledges are due on the morning of the race.

Although one can register during Summerfest and on race day, FOM Committee encourages one to register early on-line to alleviate long lines on race day. T-shirts will be available for those who register on-line and shirts will not be guaranteed for those who register after June 20, 2014.

The 5K race is a road race that runs through the quaint countryside of Garrettsville through portions of Nelson Township and finally back into town. The race will have hydrating stations, traffic control at intersections and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers of each age bracket.

The committee is also looking for corporate sponsors.  For more information on corporate sponsors and having your name on all race materials you will need to contact Norm Fashing at 330 527-8093 by April 15, 2014.

By sponsoring the race, you will have the opportunity to help the group raise funds for the research of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). DIPG is a rare form of brain cancer that strikes children generally between the ages of five and ten years old with only 2% surviving a year after diagnosis and the majority succumbing to the disease within 9-12 months. The diagnosis leaves families with little or no hope. What is also frustrating to them is that there has been little or no research done for DIPG and what little has been done has made no advances in 30 years. The disease is rare so it is underfunded and gets very few research dollars.

Questions about the race can be directed to Race Director Diana Morris (330)628-0759 or email be4him.oh@sbcglobal.net, Assistant Director Douglas Paroff at dparoff@yahoo.com  or 330 351-3507 or contact Norm Fashing at 330 527-8093.

Melana was a vivacious nine year old girl who loved life, animals, nature, and soccer, had a huge menagerie of Webkinz and lived her life to the fullest. The young girl, who knew no stranger, lived by the motto “Just Keep Swimming,” and brought the entire community together as they prayed for a miracle and helped raise funds to defray her medical costs, but it wasn’t enough.  Melana earned her wings and departed this earth in 2009, leaving behind a devastated family and community. It was her zest for life that made an impact on the group and the fact that no one wants to see another child endure what Melana did.

FOM was initially established to support Melana’s family through prayers and finances as they navigated the road of cancer. When Melana earned her wings on October 27, 2009 the group shifted their focus from support, to raising funds for research with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

 

Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville SummerFest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.

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