‘Run For Holland’ gives more than $45,000 in grants to disabled community
SPRUCE PINE – Hundreds will gather at Riverside Park Saturday, May 26, for the Run For Holland’s 5K and 10K races to raise awareness and funds for the local disabled community.
To date, more than $45,000 has been granted to various organizations. The size and purpose of grants differ based on the need of the organization. Some of the amazing projects made possible through the grants include Bowman joined Gouge Elementary and Greenlee Primary purchasing SMART Boards to aid in creative lessons that can adapt to individual learning styles; Camp Funshine has put on four seasonal events for the disabled community; Intermountain Children’s Services Inc. used a grant to purchase screening tools to assess learning and maximize each child’s abilities; and Blue Ridge Partnership for Children Partnership received a grant to acquire toys specifically designed to promote sensory stimulating activities. These were all made possible by local sponsors and proceeds from race fees.
The races were started in 2014 by Adam and Brooke Burleson. Five months into their pregnancy they received a test result that indicated a 99 percent chance that their baby girl would be born with Down Syndrome.
Scared and uncertain, with support from family and friends they pressed on with a new outlook. One of the resources their genetic counselor provided was a short story titled, “Welcome to Holland” By Emily Perl Kingsley. It’s a story that describes their journey like that of a couple who planned a dream trip to Italy only to find themselves in Holland. While at first, the couple was questioning why they were sent to Holland while all their friends were celebrating their trips to Italy, they realized that Holland wasn’t a horrible place. It was just a different place. Everyone they knew was busy coming and going to Italy. “And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away … because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss. But … if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.”
And with the reading of that story, the Burleson’s decided to name their daughter Holland. But when one runs for Holland, one is not running just for their Holland but for every family that has and will travel to Holland when they thought they were going to Italy.
Visit the Run for Holland Facebook page to sign up.