This year, the Quentin Cooper Liver Life 5K will feature a splash of color thanks to an idea from the Gulf Breeze High School Student Government Association.
Madison Owens spoke to Gulf Breeze City Council last Wednesday at their Executive Committee meeting about utilizing colored chalk during the race, which is in it’s 5th year.
The race helps raise money for area children suffering from cancer and is put on in memory of Quentin Cooper, a Gulf Breeze High School student who lost a lengthy battle with liver cancer just days shy of his graduation in 2013.
Each year, the GBHS SGA chooses a child in the community to give the race’s proceeds to, and this year, they selected Josh Lucas, a Sims Middle School student.
Lucas, 12, was recently diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The head and neck cancer is rare and starts in the upper part of a person’s throat, behind the nose.
“He’s undergoing radiation (therapy), so the doctors are pretty sure it will go away. His mother had to take unpaid leave from her job,” Owens told the city council last Wednesday.
Owens said that Lucas has three other siblings, so with his mother being away from work, it’s hard for her to stay on top of her finances.
“I know as a mom I’m sure that must be hard to support the whole family on leave,” Owens said. “We want to do everything we can, not only help them financially, but to also give them support and raise their spirits and everything.”
At the meeting, Owens also laid out the new plans for the benefit run, which will take place on Saturday, April 15 starting at 8 a.m.
The run will start on Daniel Drive at the Gulf Breeze High School football stadium and run through Baycliff and the Plantation Hill area. It will eventually end right back at the football stadium.
Owens said this year, the plan is to add a splash of color to the event by utilizing colored chalk which they will throw on runners at the numerous water stations along the route.
“Obviously we can’t call it the ‘Color Run’ for copyright reasons, so someone came up with the idea to call it the ‘Qolor Run’ with a ‘Q’ for Quentin,” Owens said.
Owens said that the chalk will be thrown on runners, but runners can choose to opt out of being doused with the chalk.
“It is going to be avoidable for anyone who doesn’t want color on them due to allergies or for any reason like that,” Owens said. “It is washable paint, so it will come out of your clothes, but it’s like a ground up chalk. Color powder will be cleaned up with hoses following the races.”
For entertainment this year, Owens said the race will feature a local radio station, which they have yet to name.
“We had a radio station come out last year, but they left early, so this year we are bringing in a radio station to entertain everyone the whole entire time,” Owens said.
Also at the event, there will be a silent auction and SGA members will be cooking up sausage for runners when they cross the finish line. Other food like pastries and fruit will also be available once runners cross the finish line.
After the race, ribbons will be distributed to winners in each age bracket and an award will be given to the overall winner of the race.
Last year, the SGA helped raise $20,000 overall and donated half of that to last year’s beneficiary, Clay Ray. In 2015, the SGA raised around $15,000 and donated $8,000 to the beneficiary, Robby Rushing.
“So we are trying to up that amount every year,” Owens said.
The group has also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Lucas. It can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/liverlife5k.
To register for the race or to find out more information, “like” the Quentin Cooper Liver Life 5K page on Facebook.
Want to help?
If you’d like to donate money for the race, you can do so by visiting the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/liverlife5k. You can find out more about the race and find out how to register at the Quentin Cooper Liver Life 5K Facebook page.