To be a part of Team Kelli, join over 50 runners and walkers at 9 a.m. at the Windham High School. Registrations will be accepted up to 30 minutes prior to start time with a registration fee of $20. Windham students, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church youth, and seniors age 65 plus can run/walk for free. Donations will be accepted.
According to the website, there will be two courses that will occur simultaneously. One will be a timed and somewhat challenging 5K trail that is used by the Windham High School cross country team. This course is a rough pathway of steep hills, roots and bridges. The other course will be a non-timed walk on the high school campus. Both courses will end at the grassy knoll overlooking the high school.
Kelli’s 5K, hosted by the St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, became an annual running and walking event in 2010, to remember and honor Kelli Hutchison, a member of the church. Kelli passed away at the age of 10 on February 16, 2010, of GBM brain cancer, an aggressive form of cancer that most often occurs in adult men ages 50 to 70. Despite the darkness and seriousness of the cancer – the main purpose and focus of Kelli’s 5K is to spread light, friendship and the art of living fully that represents Kelli’s truest life expressions.
Kelli’s mother, Melissa Hutchison, said of her daughter, “Kelli was full of light and happiness. She lived life very fully and she never let her experiences get her down.” Melissa also shared Kelli’s ability to create friends with everyone she met, being concerned about other’s feelings and how they were treated.
“The most amazing thing to me was Kelli’s ability to be a friend to absolutely everyone she met. If you were a part of Kelli’s life, you were her friend.” Melissa, Mike (Kelli’s Dad), and Cory (Kelli’s brother) hope for a huge turnout for this year’s special run/walk to not only honor Kelli’s memory and raise funds, but as a way to meet new people and perhaps make a new friend or two.
There are two charities in which the funds will be distributed. Fifty percent of the proceeds from this event will go towards improvements and upkeep of the Kelli Hutchison Memorial Playground (the ladybug playground) located on the St. Ann’s Episcopal Church campus at the corner of Windham Center Road and River Road. The playground was built to not only honor Kelli’s memory but to be a “fun and welcoming place to enjoy the spirit of childhood.” http://www.stannsepiscopalchurch.com/kelli-memorial-playground/. The playground is not only open to its church members, but to the children of the great lakes community as well.
The second portion of the proceeds will go towards Windham High School’s Project Graduation. This year would have been Kelli’s senior year, graduating in June 2017. Melissa pointed out that this graduating class is not only missing Kelli Hutchison, but will also have a vacant seat for Shane Donnelly, who died unexpectedly in May 2015. All project graduations are exciting chemical-free celebrations that act as the bridge from one chapter in life to the next. However, the Windham High School’s class of 2017 will certainly have an increased understanding of the importance of friendships and a life lived fully and without reserve as they create their new life journeys.
For those who have not yet registered for the run/walk and wish to do so, it is not too late. Bring a friend or two and register before 8:30 a.m. The race begins at 9 a.m. For more information about the event or to make a donation, visit the website at: http://www.kellis5k.com/