Last year, we took the plunge and decided to test having a fundraising run/walk in September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Our goals were multiple: 1 - to use the event to raise awareness, as there aren't a lot of childhood cancer-focused events in San Diego during that month, surprisingly; 2 - to raise money, which it did - $10,000;3 - to provide an opportunity for our community to get involved and come together under a banner of doing good for kids and having fun, two things that Max believed in :)
So MAX RUN was born. Thanks to the hard work of Sole Warrior Sports' Christine Bowen, and the generosity of our sponsors including TENELEVEN, RoadRunner Sports, Aspire IRB, Charco Construction, Floaties Swim School and others, we were able to produce an event where $10,000 was raised and $10,000 went to childhood cancer research and clinical trials!
Moreover, the run itself was superbly produced - from all aspects. There was a mix of serious runners to recreational runners to first timers/walkers. Inspirational signs along the way helped spur the participants forward, while tasty treats and great music welcomed them as they crossed the finish line. Along with Ronald McDonald and Storm Troopers from the San Diego Star Wars Society, who actually ran/walked the 1-mile fun run with the families (big shoes/laser blasters and all!), it made for a unique event that captured the fun of childhood, all for a good cause.
It was a slam dunk to do MAX RUN II. However, we came up with another goal that we wanted to accomplish with the run - to start collaborating with other childhood cancer organizations and band together on an event like MAX RUN. The reason is simple: more impact. Instead of having our run in September and another foundation's run in November, why not combine our efforts into one big run? Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) doesn't need an introduction to most of the people familiar with Max's Ring of Fire. Alex(andra) Scott lived a courageous 8 years and passed away from neuroblastoma (same as Max) in 2004, the year he was diagnosed at age 3. Jay and Liz, Alex's parents, have simply done an amazing job taking what Alex started and making ALSF one of the largest childhood cancer foundations in the country. Jay is also a really good guy, and 100% for the cause of eradicating childhood cancer, and 0% for worrying about who gets the credit.
Earlier this year, Jay and I (Andy) talked and decided it was worth giving it a shot - to work together and not only make what we started last year into a bigger event, but to also show the childhood cancer community that it is possible to work together on fundraising events. 1+1=3 in other words.
So, MAX RUN II has officially become Max's Ring of Fire Lemon Run, or MROF LEMON RUN. And this year, instead of a 5K "out and back" it will be a 4.6 mile loop - the 4.6 symbolic of the 46 children diagnosed with cancer every weekday. Of course, there will be a family/stroller-friendly 1 mile fun run/walk as well. Along with great prizes for kids and adults.
ALSF is handling most of the logistics and event planning, and MROF is going to promote the heck out of the event locally, garner volunteers and try to rope in some sponsors. We hope you can join us and participate as a participant, a volunteer, a sponsor, or mabye all three! Here's what we need:
1 - Runners/Walkers Sign-up and spread the word! ALSF has a great website for signing up and getting your friends, family and co-workers to support your run.
2 - Sponsors We need to pay for things like signage, banners, snacks and drinks, timing system, etc. This is a great community event. We're planning on at least doubling the size from last year (to 600). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if interested.
3 - Volunteers Both for the day-of the event as well as to "own" certain tasks (like water stations, or balloon arch, or food...). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if interested.
Thanks for reading this far and hope to see you at Lake Miramar on September 25!!
Andy & Melissa, Max's parents and founders of Max's Ring of Fire