Kids with cancer affected by Hurricane Harvey will be primary beneficiaries of 9th annual Walk by Faith 5K
HOUSTON (Oct. 8) — The focus for this year’s ninth annual Walk by Faith 5K Race/Walk will center on families dealing with childhood cancer that were directly affected by the fallout from Hurricane Harvey.
The Walk by Faith 5K Race/Walk is the main fundraiser for the Addi’s Faith Foundation, a Kingwood, Texas-based 501(c)(3) founded in 2007 by Tony and Amber Bender to honor their daughter Addison Faith Bender, who died of a cancerous brain tumor at age 2.
“Our city has been through so much and we know most charities have been stretched thin during what continues to be a long and tough recovery process,” Amber Bender said. “The families we support haven’t been spared, unfortunately, and many of them lost crucial and very expensive medicines because they didn’t have power for days and couldn’t keep them refrigerated or they were simply washed away by the flood waters. Others have lost their vehicles so they are struggling to keep medical appointments. It’s just been a very taxing time for them.
“Because of these very specific needs, we are earmarking the majority of this year’s proceeds to helping these specific families, so our wonderful participants will know everything they are doing at this year’s event will directly help people adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are hopeful the incredible outpouring of love and support we saw in the days after Harvey hit will carry over to our event and make it a big success.”
More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s race, which will be held Sunday, Nov. 12, on the University of Houston’s main campus. Registration is underway now at www.walkbyfaith5k.org. People unable to attend are encouraged to visit the website and make a donation.
Bender says participants in their annual run/walk range from competitive runners to entire families and church groups covering the course en masse. This year the event will start with a 1K Kids Fun Run for children ages 3-10 to give even the smallest participants a chance to get involved.
“We want everyone to join in the fun,” Tony Bender said. “5K participants can be professionally chip-timed and all participants receive a T-shirt, swag bag, and access to the post-race celebration which includes something fun for all ages.”
Generous sponsors have pledged support of all refreshments, a Kid’s Zone, festive music, raffle and various awards handed out to the top finishers in several age groups.
“Last year we had 1,500 runners and raised $165,000,” Amber Bender said. “This year our goal is to have 2,000 runners and raise $200,000. To date, we’ve raised $850,000 through the Walk by Faith 5K Run/Walk. It’s so humbling.”
The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for kids (17 and under). Each participant who registers online can also create their own fundraising page to collect donations from family and friends. Anyone who refers 5 friends will have their registration fee refunded. Early registration ends Nov. 2, after which time the fees increase by $5. Race day registration will be available from 6:30-8 a.m. Please visit www.walkbyfaith5k.org.
The race day schedule begins with a 7:30 a.m. Worship Service, followed by the 1K Kids Fun Run at 8 a.m. The 5K Race/Walk will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the Awards Ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Major sponsors of this year’s Walk by Faith 5K include Shamrock Marine, Hines Furlong, The Shop/G&S, Jeffboat, Buffalo Marine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Insperity, Vital Allergy & Asthma, Alspaugh’s ACE Hardware, Coating Systems & Supply, Christ The King Lutheran Church, Gustafson Dental, Johnson DeLuca Kurisky & Gould P.C., Stewart Title, and Thrivent.