RICHMOND, Va. — The first-ever Halloween Hustle 5K is this Saturday at West Creek in Richmond.
“We are excited to have a 5K and a Kid’s Fun Dash, all starting out around 8:15 on Oct. 29 here at Performance Food Group,” Better2gether Executive Director/Co-Founder Stephanie Becker said.
The event, which used to be the RVA Cares 5K, is sponsored by the non-profit, which supports and equips families of children with medically complex illnesses. Stephanie Becker is the founder.
“About seven years ago, my son Jack was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. And right after diagnosis, two organizations stepped in and supported our family,” Becker said. “About the same time a friend of mine was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, with less than 40 documented cases in the country. And the difference was no support system, no network organization came in to support their family.”
As you can imagine, the challenges were enormous.
“And what we learned is that kids in Richmond and really Virginia that have a medically complex illness, do not have a support system in the same way that kids that have a well-known illness,” Becker said.
That knowledge moved Becker to form Better2gether to provide the necessary support.
“So our purpose is to really walk with these families on their journey and make sure they do not feel alone,” she said.
Families are connected to resources like outpatient services, medical supplies and equipment, food, and supported by other families.
“Sometimes it’s just a listening ear, when things get really hard,” Becker explained. “And then what we do as far as that education component, we equip families with the tools they need to care for their child.”
Better2gether also offers programs like music therapy, a mentor program and identifying caregivers.
“And one of the greatest things we do is we have a support group, and a partnership with Children’s Hospital to really allow these caregivers not only information and education, but that additional way to connect with each other,” Becker said.
They couldn’t do this without partners like Performance Food Group (PFG).
“So we’re really excited to be able to, to show off our little slice of heaven we have out here and invite people to come out and engage in the Halloween Hustle and really show what the West Creek area has to offer,” he said Scott Golden, who leads community relations activities at PFG.
It’s the first time PFG is joining forces with Better2gether and Golden said it certainly is not the last.
“You know, we’ve been part of the Richmond community for over 140 years,” Golden said. “We feel we owe it to this community to be a good corporate citizen, and we’re gonna continue to partner with organizations around the area to show that support.”
Becker said her son Jack is “doing great.”
“He is in year three of remission, from cancer and living life to the fullest, keeping us busy with all of his activities,” Becker said.
In fact, Jack, is even running in the 5K.
“He’s learned that Papa John’s has donated free pizza for a year for some of our top finishers and that’s motivated motivational enough for a 14-year-old boy,” Becker said.
The Halloween Hustle 5K is this Saturday. Registration starts at 7:30 am Click here for all the details.
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