Washtenaw County organizers host successful 1st Annual Raise Hope and Foster Dreams 5k

Washtenaw County organizers host successful 1st Annual Raise Hope and Foster Dreams 5k

Provided by Dave Parham, Running Race Promotions

On Saturday, September 28th, the Washtenaw County Foster Care Coalition and over 150 runners, walkers and volunteers joined together at the beautiful Rolling Hills County Park to bring awareness of the need for more foster homes in Washtenaw County.

A heavy fog over the park did not deter the runners, walkers, volunteers, and supporters from participating in what is surely one of the most beautiful courses in the county. Runners and walkers of various levels enjoyed a flat and fast course. Several participants took pictures of the ponds, wildflowers and nature trails along the way, and volunteers from the Kiwanis Club and the coalition helped to direct participants toward the finish line as many other volunteers and fellow runners/walkers cheered them on.

In the end, our winner, Matt Disher, age 19, ran an incredible 15:32, nearly a 5 minute mile pace! He was followed by Eric Pear and Isaac Westgate. The top female finisher was Maria Mysliwski, 25 with a 25:14 finishing time.

Trophies were awarded to the top male and female, who also received $100 in gift cards. Masters trophies and medals were awarded to the top 3 finishers in each age range. Participant medals were awarded to youth who ran and walked. Everyone was also able to enjoy fresh fruit, carbs and drinks following the race as well as to learn ways they can help children in foster care. We were especially proud to have the Heart Gallery.

The Michigan Heart Gallery is a unique photographic exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The touring exhibit specifically recruits for those who have had parental rights terminated and are in need of an adoptive family. Professional photographers volunteer their time and talents to photograph the children who are featured, and a traveling exhibit is created and hosted at various venues throughout the state. To learn more about children awaiting adoption, you can visit: http://www.miheart.org/

We could not be prouder of our 1st annual Raise Hope and Foster Dreams 5k. We were able to reach over 2,000 people through social media, flyers, newspapers and word of mouth. All funds earned will be used to continue to promote awareness of the many challenges foster children, biological, and foster families face in our county.

We invite you to join us next year at Rolling Hills where we hope you will share in our 2nd annual Raise Hope and Foster Dreams 5k!