Graphic courtesy Leo’s Run.
The organizers of Leo’s Run are looking for volunteers to help with the charitable event set for Feb. 5.
Leo’s Run, a 5K Run/Walk, was founded as a memorial to a son Mike Mowery (co-founder of Source of the Spring) and wife Caroline Joyce lost at birth, he said in an earlier interview.
“We were trying to figure out ways that we could make a positive difference,” he said. “We’ve been quite surprised and elated by the community that exists here.
“As a runner myself, [I] was trying to figure out a way to have something not just for ourselves but for others who have suffered any sort of loss to rally around and have an event,” he continued.
Leo was born on Super Bowl Sunday in 2014, and that’s the day chosen for the memorial run.
“I wanted to have some thing for that day to do to kind of take, again to have a very positive impact but also take away, sort of, the pain,” he said.
The funds raised help support a non-profit called Leo’s Garden, named for a memorial garden in the parents’ backyard. The goal is to support people, such as siblings, who have suffered a similar loss. The idea, he said, is to provide funding, similar to scholarships, to allow them to participate in programs such art therapy or yoga or other alternative organizations “to be able to do some of these things that have helped us cope with the tragic event.”
The run starts at East Silver Spring Elementary School, heads to Sligo Creek Parkway, passing the site of Leo’s memorial service, and along Sligo Creek. Runners will make a U-turn at Wayne Avenue and head back into the neighborhood where Leo would have been raised.
Registration of participants is running ahead of last year’s participation, the organizers said in an email to supporters. They are looking for volunteers to help both inside the school and along the route.
Run/walk participants must register by Sunday, Jan. 22 in order to ensure they get their choice of t-shirt style and proper size. Those who are unable to make the event can register as a Spirit Runner (via the same link) to support the cause. Spirit Runners will have their t-shirts mailed to them (the additional cost goes to shipping and handling).
In addition, All Set Bar and Restaurant (8630 Fenton St.) will host a fundraiser for Leo’s Run on Saturday, Jan. 28, donating 15 percent of all proceeds when people mention that they are with Leo’s Run when ordering. They will have Happy Hour prices from 5-6:30 p.m. and then regular bar and food prices from 6:30-8 p.m