Hello to all our Four Leaf Clover Run family and supporters. I hope you are staying safe and healthy in these trying times. As we all have stayed close to the updates in our current worldwide crisis and after having explored many options, it is with a very heavy heart that I announce we will be cancelling the 5th Anniversary celebration of the Four Leaf Clover Run/Walk scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2020. It is not a decision we made lightly.
As many of you know, I launched the Four Leaf Clover Run in 2016 to honor my sister Michelle, who lost her battle to cancer in March of 2015, in addition to Michael Sullivan, son of my dear friends, Coleen and Vince. Our first race that beautiful Saturday morning was magical to say the least. My sister Mary Anne was our official starter in the midst of her lengthy battle battle with cancer; and also, actually bravely walked the course that amazing day. Mary Anne lost her battle later that year. Hence our ongoing hashtag #mtsmvsmas. Our first year saw 180 runners cross the finish line, and we raised a modest $3,000.00 in that inaugural year. Fast forward to 2019 where we had 550 runners/walkers and families participate, and have grown to a year round effort with multiple events. We’ve adopted a local fighter the last three years, and raised $26,000.00 in 2019, bringing our four-year total to just shy of $50,000.00. In the meantime, I also lost another sibling, my brother Michael, a huge supporter and help in our efforts. It was not cancer related but it presented my family the opportunity to bury three siblings in less than three years. The Four Leaf Clover Run is very personal to me.
The 5th Anniversary celebration was on track to, once again, break all records. Registration was up 50% over the previous year as of the beginning of March when all things came to a screeching halt. We had a goal of 700/750 participants and raising $50,000.00 with all of our scheduled events, closing in on $100,000.00 raised in our five years. Making ripples grow wider and wider year by year. Needless to say, those goals will not be realized. The 5th Anniversary was so special to me. The Taylor Ceepo Memorial Finish Line was now a permanent part of our event; we adopted an amazing young three year old, Alayna Bretsik, as our 2020 Adopted Fighter; Children’s Hospital was finally on board as a corporate sponsor; and, Disco Inferno was back!! We had many exciting things planned to make this an epic day for local cancer fighters. A truly magical day on the brickroads of AkRun.
Much of what I just listed is why I just can’t bring myself to switch to a virtual event. The impact for local cancer fighters would not be realized, and I just couldn’t see “celebrating” 5 years of endless hours of planning and growing an amazing Akron community event virtually. As far as postponing to another date, that also presented too many obstacles that I couldn’t see overcoming. Summer is very unknown right now and communication and rescheduling with the City of Akron was proving to be understandably difficult. They have more pressing matters at hand. Additionally, the summer schedule of short distance events is very full, and I was not interested in impacting and competing with other area events that deserve respect for their dates. The fall is a time frame that is even more impossible. Our event is held at a high school facility, and needless to say, fall sports and activities already fill their schedule; and, as any runner can tell you, the fall is marathon season. After looking at all this, I felt there was no good option to continue on in 2020 with our signature event. It is our hope that our 3rd Annual Four Leaf Clover Run Golf Outing will still take place tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 11, 2020, at Brookledge Golf Club in Cuyahoga Falls.
The 5th Anniversary Four Leaf Clover Run/Walk and celebration will tentatively take place on Saturday, June 12, 2021. I want to thank all those that have already registered for this year. Your support to our mission is what continues to drive our foundation to do great things. Having said all that, here are the simple ways we will proceed with those presently registered for 2020.
You can choose to donate your registration to our 2020 campaign which has been dramatically negatively impacted. We can certainly use the funds for our charity partners and adopted fighter. If you choose this option, please send an email with your intent to donate your 2020 registration to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We then look forward to you registering for the 2021 event once registration opens later in 2020.
Your 2020 registration will be automatically deferred to our 2021 event. You have to do nothing.
If you feel for some reason you cannot participate on that date, once it's confirmed, you may transfer your registration to another participant.
Refunds are clearly stated in our registration process as an unavailable option; however, we will handle each registration on a case by case basis if you choose to pursue that as an option.
Thank you in advance for understanding the options presented. It was very difficult to come to this decision, and we’re sure you understand the negative impact this has on our mission and goals in 2020 to make a difference for local cancer fighters. If you have any other questions or concerns, please direct them to email@example.com.
In closing, I want you to understand how heartbreaking this decision is for me. The Four Leaf Clover Run is a passion in my heart. I’ve shed tears writing this announcement. I know I’m not the only Race Director to make these gut wrenching decisions, and my heart aches for all those that have gone through this. As our goals will be far from realized and I understand times are tough, if you find it in your heart to make a donation to our mission, you can do so at http//:fourleafcloverrun.org. I pray you are safe and healthy. I pray for all those on the frontlines dealing with this worldwide crisis and for their health. Lastly, I pray you have a blessed Easter weekend and celebrate our risen Lord. God Bless.
Four Leaf Clover Foundation