The city of Georgetown has had many interesting events happen in September this year, and hopefully for many years to come. From bike rides and running competitions to competitive games for youth, the town has been kept busy. Some of these events, like Ride for Claire’s bicycle race, the Finley 5k Run, and the Race for Grace competition, are put on to raise awareness as well as money for specific foundations and causes. Although they were established to bring awareness to these causes, they also give students a chance to connect with their community and have some fun with their friends.
The annual Ride for Claire has taken place the last two years in honor of Claire Embry, who passed away shortly after birth. According to the Claire Foundation, its goal is to “…aid families that have been diagnosed with a complicated pregnancy by providing them with financial support and other resources that may be necessary in their journey.”
Claire was diagnosed with CHARGE before her birth, which is an abbreviation for several of the features common in the disorder: coloboma, heart defects, atresia choanae, growth retardation, genital abnormalities, and ear abnormalities.
So Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale gave Jill Embrey and Brandon Embrey, the parents and foundation leaders of Ride for Claire, two choices. Either they could do multiple surgeries and hospital visits to give her a life where she would suffer or they could let her lay peacefully in their arms until she passed away. They, gut-wrenchingly, chose the latter.
Claire got to rest in her mother’s arms, meet her big brother Silas, meet her grandparents, and was baptized before her death. Claire was sadly only able to experience life for nine hours, but those nine hours were filled with love and kindness from her family.
Ride for Claire happens September 14 of every year, which is the child’s day of birth. Registration is made available on May 1st. The event is held at Southland Christian Church and includes both easy and difficult biking trails to allow all levels of experienced riders to enjoy the event.
“We are just thankful to all of our sponsors, participants, family, friends, and volunteers that help us take on an event this large.” Mrs. Embrey expresses. “Every single penny earned from this event goes straight to Kentucky Children’s Hospital, so we truly are making a difference.”
The Finley 5k has been happening for six years now in honor of Finley Ellison who passed at a young age. Its goal is to raise awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as well as do research on the condition. Finley was the third child born to Dwayne and Crissy Ellison.
Finley had to be rushed to the hospital on May 14, 2013, because he was not breathing. Mr. Ellison was able to make it to the house in time and was able to ride with Finley to the hospital, Finley did not make it through, in the end he only lived 105 days, 3 ½ months.
“We encourage people to make sure they are following best practices for safe sleep with their infants and to not just do what our parents and grandparents have always done.” Dwayne Ellison stated. “We also encourage folks to help support research into SIDS…We need more researchers looking at this issue.”
The Event happens in many different locations from Pennsylvania to Ohio as well as Kentucky. For more information and to join the walk/run click here
Race at Grace has been going on for 5 years here in Georgetown, and it all started because one youth pastor wanted to reach out into his community and make a bridge to help people come and give the church a chance. That youth pastor is Peter Hall.
Hall has been running this event at Grace Christian. It has only gotten bigger, from foam machines to larger more challenge mud weeks, Mr. Hall has been bringing his A Game to making an environment where students can see positive influences from volunteers, and have some fun with friends.
The Race ran from August 21st and ended on September 18th, with a different activity held each of the weeks. From grabbing tubes to Godzilla Ball, each win of these activities allowed a team to get points. Whichever team gained the most points at the end of the Race won. This year the Race at Grace was won by none other than the Red Team.
There are many ways someone can get involved in the community of Georgetown, whether it be an event already started like the Ride for Claire, Finley 5k, and Race at Grace. Someone could even make their own event in the future. But, as of now, these events are what makes Georgetown into the place of community it is today.