Wheat Ridge

Hope for cancer victims

Annual Lutheran event is part race, part health fair

Posted

Everybody knows someone who has been touched by cancer in some way, and Exempla Lutheran Medical Center is hosting its seventh annual Leaves of Hope event to give people a chance to help those still battling the disease.

This year’s Leaves of Hope National Cancer Survivors Celebration and Health and Safety Expo will be 7:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday, June 1, at Exempla Lutheran, 8300 W. 38th Ave.

Hosted by the Exempla Lutheran Medical Center Foundation and hospital, the event includes a survivor’s breakfast, 5k/10k Run/Walk, Free Kids’ Dash, 1 mile Family Fun Walk, music by Chris Daniels and the Kings, and exhibition booths.

“So far in our six years we’ve raised around $500,000 and the number of participants has grown every year,” said Carol Salzmann, vice president of Community Development and Executive Director of the foundation. “We want to take this event to the community for those who want to do something extra to help.”

The keynote speaker for the event is Daniels, a three-year cancer survivor and Colorado Music Hall of Fame recipient.

Salzmann said that the event started around 20 years ago as a health expo, but has grown by leaps and bounds as the foundation made efforts to expand the safety training.

“We want to make sure as many people as possible are exposed to the health information we have,” she said.

The runs are certified, and Salzmann said it’s a beautiful walk that goes through Wheat Ridge neighborhoods and Crown Hill Park.

“We hear from participants that it’s one of their favorite races,” she said. “We get people from all over the region who come to help us out.”

Salzmann said that for longtime participants, Leaves of Hope isn’t just a race — it’s a way to start the season.

“The event is a summer kick-off,” she said. “It’s a great way to give back to the community, because all the money raised stays in the community to help people.”

For more information visit http://leavesofhope.org/.