By Marne Burghoffer | email@example.com
Photo by Marne Burghoffer
Haven Hospice, a not-for-profit organization in North Florida, gave a new definition to shedding light on an unfortunate situation this past weekend by hosting a 5K fundraiser that welcomed all ghouls, witches and humans dressed in goofy costumes.
The second annual Monster Dash and Creepy Crawl took place at Butler Park East on Saturday morning with about 70 participants, a similar if not slightly larger turnout than last year’s event. Runners lined up behind cones and timers marking the start and end of the race and sprang forward collectively when the whistle sounded at 9 a.m. The children ran a shorter one-mile dash a half hour later.
Costumes were worn by many, but pride for the cause of the run was worn by all. All proceeds benefitted Haven Hospice, which provides psychological, social, emotional and spiritual support for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones.
Kathy Johnston, the Administrator for Haven Hospice in St. John’s County, explained that all of the proceeds from fundraisers are allocated to unfunded programs. Medicare usually pays for the clinical care that hospice services provide, but there is more that does not get covered.
“We don’t have any funding for bereavement camps and support groups and some of the special things we do for patients who can’t afford hospice care or need special things to make their lives a little better.” Johnson said, “All of the support we get from the community and all of the donations we get stay right here in St. John’s County, so we support the community in a fun way.”
The run also brought attention to staying healthy by engaging in fitness activities. Children were encouraged to participate to promote this idea beginning at a young age.
As those involved in the race crossed the finish line they were cheered on by all who had opted out of running or finished before. They were then welcomed to food, drinks, and family activities.
The Monster Dash and Creepy Crawl featured amazing costumes and even more amazing support for Haven Hospice.