Family Time: Lace up to help families fighting cancer

Runners take off at the start of the Brighter Tomorrows 5K run in 2016.

Have fun while supporting families living with childhood cancer at Brighter Tomorrows’ Go For the Gold. Part of the Rochesterfest lineup, the family-friendly event launches with a tribute to some very special children.

"We start the event off with a balloon launch," said Mary Hansen, Brighter Tomorrows board member and event organizer. "Each balloon is released in honor of a child we’ve lost to cancer."

Then the event’s 400 or so participants gather for the 5K run, the 3K family walk, and a variety of for-kids-only children’s races — 50, 100, 200, 400. And in between the running and walking there will be fun, music and fellowship.

"We’ll award medals and prizes to our walkers and runners. There will be balloon animals, face painting, and Dunk a Doc where you can dunk a Mayo doctor," said Hansen. "You can get an autograph from Slider of the Honkers and pictures with Star Wars characters.

"You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and hear from some of the Brighter Tomorrows families," she said. "These are families who are in the fight against childhood cancer right now. We typically have three Brighter Tomorrows families lined up to speak, knowing that life with childhood cancer is such an up and down. Knowing that if one family’s child’s counts are low, if treatment that week didn’t go as planned, they won’t be able to attend."


The money raised at Go For the Gold goes to support Brighter Tomorrows, a Rochester-area nonprofit that’s made it its mission to help families of children with childhood cancer. Founded in 2007 by families who faced childhood cancer, the organization hopes to raise $35,000 at Saturday’s event, which will help fund a year’s worth of Brighter Tomorrows-sponsored family events and retreats, family care kits, and monthly meetings.

"The common bond for all of the Brighter Tomorrows’ families is that they all have a child receiving a cancer diagnosis at Mayo Clinic," said Hansen. "We offer a lot of fun events and activities for Brighter Tomorrows’ families: a trip to Great Wolf Lodge water park in January, we went to the Minnesota Zoo at the end of May and we’ll be heading to a Twins game in July.

"We did a survey of Brighter Tomorrows’ families a little while ago, and with all of those fun things we offer, I was surprised to hear that when asked what’s the most important thing Brighter Tomorrows offers, families said, overwhelmingly, the monthly meetings. The ability to sit and talk to other families, other kids, other siblings who are going through the same thing."

Register online through Thursday or register onsite, race day starting at 7 a.m. Cost is $15 students, $20 seniors, and $35 adults.

What:Brighter Tomorrows Go for the Gold

Where:Silver Lake Park (pool area)

When:Saturday, June 29, registration 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., events immediately after


On the web: ,

More about Brighter Tomorrows

• Brighter Tomorrows meets the first Tuesday of the month, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Grace Lutheran Church. Open to all families of children with cancer, pre-registration is not necessary.

• Can’t make it to Go For the Gold, but want to help? Find out how by visiting the .

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