After being held virtually last year due to the pandemic, more than 1,490 community superheroes joined the nonprofit Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada at the recent Superhero 5K presented by Centennial Toyota at Exploration Peak Park in the Mountain’s Edge Master Planned Community.
The event raised $237,161 to help children battling cancer and their families, making it Candlelighters’ biggest annual fundraiser. More than 200 volunteers supported the race and companion festivities.
“We were blown away by the number of people who participated and made our 2021 Superhero 5K a huge success. Even though it was great we could adapt and hold this event virtually last year, the energy and enthusiasm of the live event was amazing and seeing everyone was even better, all things we missed during the pandemic,” said Kimberly Kindig, CEO of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada. “I know all of our Candlelighters families who were able to attend felt loved and supported. And that means everything. We could not be more grateful to our sponsors, participants, volunteers, and vendors who made this year possible!”
Every year ambassadors are honored for their courage, spirit and bravery in dealing with their cancer and for serving as inspiration to those around them and others with this potentially fatal disease in all its forms. The Superhero 5K was even more meaningful for this year’s Superhero Ambassador, 6-year-old Elias Dias, as it marked his second anniversary of completing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Gavin Kilcullen, who was 15 years old when he passed away with multiple cancers, was honored as the Angel Ambassador.
The winner of the Superhero 5K was Ryan Watts. Emmanuel Gizaw came in second, while Ricardo Sandoval placed third. Additionally, awards were given to the highest fundraising teams in three categories: Team Kenzie for the Friends & Family award, Jeff Helvin for the Individual category, and The Revolution for the Corporation award.
Festivities included booths, a kids zone with bounce houses, food options, a beer garden for those 21 and older and everyday superheroes in full costume. A virtual component also was available for participants to walk or run anywhere at any time to reach their fundraising goal.
The event was made possible by presenting sponsor Centennial Toyota and The Revolution FMO, Take 5 to Care (Fox 5) and Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. Other event sponsors were Blue Apple Electric, Southwest Gas, ER Injury Attorneys, Optum Care, Palm Mortuary, the Law Firm of Jeffrey Burr, Castle & Cook Mortgage, One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating, Stage House, Raising Cane’s and UFC.
About Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada is the first and oldest nonprofit organization in Nevada serving children, from birth to 21 years old, and families coping with childhood cancer. Its mission is to provide emotional support, quality of life programs, and financial assistance for children and their families affected by childhood cancer. Since its establishment more than 40years ago, Candlelighters has helped thousands of families, and now serves nearly 400 families each month and more than 1,000 children (diagnosed child and sibling combined) per year. For information, visit www.candlelightersnv.org.