Residents can help hundreds of children just by running around the block.
Ralston House, which provides a safe and friendly place where children who have been sexually or physically abused can tell their story, is hosting its seventh annual .5K Endurance Challenge.
The .5K is the organization’s annual fundraiser where residents literally run around the block — 1,640 feet — to raise money to help kids’ tell their stories and begin to heal.
Ralston House is hosting two races — one in Arvada and one in Lakewood — both with activities and events for the whole family before and after the race.
The Arvada race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, in Olde Town Square, 7500 W. 57th Ave.
The route goes down Webster Street, turns onto Grandview Avenue and comes back up Olde Wadsworth Boulevard to end back in the square.
The Lakewood race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at The Street at Colorado Mills, 14500 W. Colfax Ave., in front of the AMC Theaters. The race goes down one side of the street and back up the other.
“It’s a .5K so anyone can compete in it,” said Ralston House Executive Director Don Moseley.
“With helping kids being our focus, we want families with kids to be involved too.”
The youngest of runners often think they won the race, too, because finish line tape is pulled out for each and every race participant, Moseley said.
The Golden Sneakers are also given out in five categories - oldest, youngest, biggest team, first to finish and last to finish.
“Usually the first person finishes before everyone has even crossed the starting line,” Moseley said with a laugh.
Moseley the fundraiser is all about having fun to support a very serious cause.
Last year, the two races raised $40,000 for the Ralston House, which helps provide a variety of services and equipment to help children.
The funds raised from last year’s races could pay for nearly all of the medical exams performed at the Ralston House annually, Moseley said.
However, the funds are used for a variety of uses and tasks at the organization.
“If we are interviewing a family with two or three kids, they could be here for a few hours, so we’ll buy them lunch,” he said.
“It’s the small things. A pizza might not seem like a lot, but it makes the kids feel comfortable and makes a difference.”
The funds are used to pay for equipment and services used for the interview process, helps create comfortable, relaxing environments for children in the interview rooms, such as child-size chairs, decorations and toys, and a slew of other necessities to help children get their story heard.
The Ralston House also provides counseling and therapy to abused children and their families.
“You hear about cases on the news and people say ‘I wish I could do something to help,’ and [the .5K] is something you can do,” Moseley said.
All of the funds raised by the races go directly to support the Ralston House and their services.
The .5K events will also include face painting, activities and crafts, cheerleaders from local high schools to cheer racers on, and safety fairs with vehicles from the local police and fire departments as well as K9 Unit demonstrations.
Registration before the day of the races is $15 for children 12 and younger and seniors 62 and older; $20 for adults; $60 for a family of four; and $120 for a team of 10.
The day of the races registration is $20 for children and seniors; $25 for adults; $70 for a family of four; and $160 for a team of 10.
To register online, visit www.ralstonhouse.net/5krun.html.
For more information, contact Ashley Irlando at 720-898-6744 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.