In the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy was running away from home, but in the end she found that home was actually the best place to be.
In Sugarcreek on Aug. 5, Gnome is the place to be, and while many people will be running, it won’t be to get away, but rather as a show of support for a family and a young boy in particular who is near to their hearts.
That Saturday the Village of Sugarcreek will host a 2K fun run/walk that will benefit far more than just the people running. The third annual Run for Gnome and Swiss Heritage Day Celebration will take place as a fundraiser for a local family facing hardship.
Run for Gnome arose as a way of helping the family of young Logan Miller, who is facing a battle with a tumor on his liver. Last year the support from the race went to the family of Bentley Yoder, who was born with encephalocele, a disease in which the brain grows outside of the skull.
The desire of the community to continue to support families facing hardships continues, and this year the beneficiary will be Kaisonn Lescalett, a young boy from Sugarcreek with a rare disorder called Hurler syndrome.
Lescalett’s disease attacks him mentally and physically and advances with age. He has received a bone marrow transplant but still faces a long road ahead of him with numerous appointments and surgeries.
“It’s been a long road for the family, but Kaisonn has come a long way this past year, and he is awesome,” said Danielle Feldner, event chair. “Kaisonn and his family must drive to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital multiple times each year. They are actually one of the finest hospitals in dealing with this sort of disease. That means a lot of medical and travel expense for the family, and that is where we want to make a difference for them. This is a time for the community to come together and show support for a great cause, and the family could really use the support of the community.”
The purpose behind the race is easy. It is to create an avenue to raise funds for a local Sugarcreek family in need of financial support to help pay medical bills and travel expenses.
But why was the gnome introduced into the name?
“When we started this race three years ago, we were trying to think of something fun and eccentric that kind of went with Sugarcreek, and the gnome ties into the Swiss heritage,” Feldner said.
While the race is sponsored by numerous local businesses and the runners who participate each year, this year two local companies have stepped up as major sponsors for the event. Local company Nücamp has been a major sponsor since the race began three years ago while Walnut Creek Food has joined in as a major sponsor this year.
Many businesses and individuals have jumped in to join the fight including the Garaway cross country team, which has taken a key role in the race as well as done a car wash and donated the proceeds to the cause. In addition the Garaway High School cheerleaders have shown their support by greeting and cheering for the runners as they cross the finish line.
“It’s been neat to see some of the younger people taking on a nice role in the fundraiser,” Feldner said.
Run for Gnome race will begin at 7 p.m., and it will begin and end at Superb Industries near Garaway High School. Feldner said people can preregister for the race by logging on to the website at www.RunForGnome.com, or they can fill out a form by stopping in at the Village of Sugarcreek office, 410 S. Broadway St. Participants also can register two hours before the race; however, Feldner encourages everyone to preregister if possible.
Following the race, the evening’s festivities will continue across U.S. Route 39 in the field next to Park Street Pizza for plenty of family activities. Live music from Valleytown will begin at 7:30 p.m. while the band Kodachrome Babies will kick off at 8:30 p.m.
There will be several food vendors on hand including Swissters food truck, Amish Country Donuts and Creekside Concessions, and food will be available at Park Street Pizza. There will be bounce houses for the youngsters, and at 9:30 p.m. there will be fireworks in honor of Swiss Heritage Day.
It is the perfect way to wrap up a sensational evening of fellowship and support in the community.
Registration is $20 per individual and $60 for families of four or more.
Anyone who wishes to support Run for Gnome may do so by calling Feldner at the Sugarcreek Village office at 330-852-7271. For further information on the race, visit www.RunForGnome.com.