Friends of Melana (FOM) will hold their Third Annual Memorial 5k and 1 mile run/walk at Garrettsville SummerFest, Sunday June 30, 2013 at 9am. Participants are asked to register at The cost is $25 per runner and $10 for the fun run/walk. Folks can get additional individual sponsors by downloading a sponsor form from eventbrite and asking friends for pledges. All individual sponsors’ monies are due on June 30, 2013. Those who raise $50 in pledges may request to have their registration fee refunded by eventbrite. 

Although pre-registration at eventbrite is preferred, one may also register the day of the event at the race. T-shirts will be guaranteed for those the first 200 that register prior to June 10, 2013.

There are other opportunities to participate in the event. Once again, they are elevating the event by offering opportunities for individuals, small businesses and corporations to participate in a sponsorship. The sponsorships start at $250 for the Bronze Level and go on up to $4500 for the Presenting Level. The Presenting Level will receive the following benefits:


1. Top billing on all advertising

2. Recognition on all media promotions

3. Sponsor name or logo on race T-shirt

4. Logo on race bib

5. Sponsor name or logo on promotional flyers

6. Sponsor’s Material in Race Participant’s “Goodie Bag”

7. Sponsor logo on advertising posters

8. Sponsor logo on direct mail piece

9. Ten complimentary race entries (includes race T-shirt)

10. Individual promotional table at race

11. Sponsor name or logo for START/FINISH Line banner

12. First Right’s of Refusal for next year


Platinum level is $2500 and one will receive the first nine benefits listed above. The Gold level is $1000 and one will receive the first seven benefits.  The Silver level is $500 and one will receive the first five benefits and the Bronze level is $250 and one will receive the first three benefits.

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 of them succumbing to the disease within 9-12 months. The diagnosis leaves families with little or no hope. What is also frustrating to them is 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 little research dollars. FOM hopes to change that by providing information about the disease and to raise funds for research.

Questions and sponsorship forms can be obtained by contacting Director Jacob Vaughan at (330)632-0072 or email or Assistant Director Diana Morris at (330)628-0759 or email or contact Norm Fashing at 330 527-8093. FOM is a 501c3 organization and all sponsorships are tax deductible.

Sign-ups for the race can be done through

Since becoming a partner with the Prayers for Maria Foundation in 2011, the Friends of Melana Foundation has generated over $18,000 in research funds in our quest for a cure for children’s glioma brain cancer. Our parent foundation’s medical board has now awarded two $100,000 research grants, one being in our own backyard – Cleveland Metro Health. Metro used our grant to start an in-lab research project, and then used the data from that research as a springboard to apply for and receive an additional grant from the National Cancer Institute in the amount of $ 3.3 million.

Therefore, as one can see, a small amount of money can add up quickly, please consider how you or your business can help find a cure, so that no other child has to endure this horrible disease.

Melana was a nine year old vivacious 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, is why this group is dedicated to raise funds for research with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for this horrible disease.

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.