Of the great many fundraiser races held in our community, one being staged this weekend at Savannah Rapids Park has a singular focus: Helping pay the expenses associated with a lung transplant for a Columbia County elementary school student.
Coughing after a lung-burning cold-weather run the other day, I thought about how hard it must be for someone with cystic fibrosis, who often can barely breathe after just a short walk. And I thought of Sawyer Mobley, a 10-year-old Bel Air Elementary School student who’s battled CF since he was born.
Sawyer, who recently had a double-lung transplant at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, used those lungs this past weekend to breathe fresh air for the first time, according to the latest update from his mother, Angel Mobley.
The Martinez boy been undergoing physical therapy since his January surgery, and his mom said it was the first time he’d been outdoors since December. (She posts updates regularly on the Facebook page Strength for Sawyer.)
There have been plenty of fundraisers for the Mobley family to help pay for the heavy costs associated with the transplant, many of them driven by his school family – particularly, his former teacher, Debbie Callan.
The next is the Strength for Sawyer 5K set for Saturday, March 9. You can find all the information needed at www.active.com and searching for "sawyer." You also can find information and updates on Sawyer’s progress at www.cotaforsawyerm.com .
One thing about fundraiser races: They’re getting pretty popular. As a friend said, they’re the new golf tournament. Consequently, anyone who wants to raise a few bucks thinks they can stage one. Some are put together far better than others, which means they draw more people and raise more money for the cause. Others have a haphazard feel, with too little planning, too few volunteers and not enough support for the event or the runners.
I’m hearing that the folks from Fleet Feet Sports, Augusta’s only running shop (www.fleetfeetaugusta.com ), are planning a get-together for race organizers to help share ideas and best practices, and perhaps head off some of the less-well-organized efforts.
Of course, I would expect anyone who attends such a meeting probably has a head start anyway, because they’re already putting more strategic thinking into the process. If you’re planning a fundraiser run, or just thinking about it, you’ll probably want to be there.
Once I have details on the meeting, I’ll share it here. It can only be good for everyone in the growing running community – and for the causes they’d like to support.
Speaking of races, here are some coming up in the area in addition to this Saturday’s Strength for Sawyer 5K:
• Loop the Lake 5K, Waynesboro, Ga., Saturday, March 9: www.active.com/running/waynesboro-ga/loop-the-lake-5k-2013
• The Cloverleaf Duathlon – a two-mile run, 10-mile bike ride, and a two-mile run – will be held at 8 a.m. March 16 at Riverwood Plantation in Evans. Register at any Family Y or at www.thefamilyy.org . Contact Shonna Sargent at email@example.com .
• Great Wesley Chase 5KRun/Walk and Fun Run on March 16, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 825 North Belair Road in Evans. www.wesleyumc.net .
• Beautiful Feet 5K run/walk on March 23, Savannah Rapids Pavilion. Search on www.active.com .
If you know of any other upcoming races, or are involved in planning one, send me the information so I can help promote it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’ve got plenty of ideas for upcoming blogs, but if there’s a topic you’d like to see explored, send me a note.
Let’s hit the road!