October 24, 2020

Royal Run 5K and Fun Run in Downtown Newnan Saturday

Article Courtesy of Kandice Bell/Newnan Times-Herald

(Newnan, GA) — Superheroes, kings, princes and princesses will flood downtown Newnan in a couple of weeks to raise awareness about pediatric cancer.

Keris Kares will host its annual Royal Run on May 13 in downtown Newnan, with the support and help of Main Street Newnan and downtown merchants. Organizers encourage runners and walkers to dress as their favorite super hero, prince, princess, king or queen.

Keris Kares, a nonprofit organization that aids families of children battling pediatric cancers, is in memory of Keris Bembry, who was a resident of Coweta.

The 6-year-old passed away in July 2015 from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), which is a rare form of pediatric brain cancer with only 100-150 new cases each year. She was diagnosed in 2013 and was given a life expectancy of six to nine months, but surpassed that and lived 20 months.

Although the annual fundraising event is usually held in the Ashley Park shopping center, downtown is ideal for the event, said Keris’ mom, Deidre Bembry.

“Downtown is the heart of Newnan,” Bembry said. “Keris Kares is about community and family. We really wanted to move down there because that’s where ‘local’ begins. It’s grassroots, where you can walk into a business and meet the owners.”

Bembry said the idea to change venues came about in November over coffee at Leaf and Bean with downtown merchants Kenya Brantley and Lori Duncan. Bembry said she wasn’t sure if there was enough time to pull off the change of venue, but with the help of downtown merchants and Main Street Newnan, the change became a reality.

“People jumped on it,” Bembry said. “We formed a race committee and got people involved in the community and representation from downtown merchants. They embraced it.”

Bembry said many downtown merchants and Main Street Newnan are sponsoring the run with raffles or giveaways.

“We’re very excited about them coming here,” said Paige Deweese, special-events coordinator for the city of Newnan. “I hope it grows bigger from here. I think it’s good for them and us. I hope they continue to have it here.”

17155656_1741748829471894_6296576767562300640_nBembry wants to bring awareness to downtown merchants as well.

“It’s also Mother’s Day weekend, so we hope the runners will patronize the businesses that support us,” she said. “Downtown merchants will put Keris Kares decals on their windows in May to promote Brain Tumor Awareness Month, which is for adults and children.”

Bembry said she and her family felt compelled to help other families dealing with cancer.

“There is such little recognition for pediatric cancer,” she said. “Keris lived her life, and it is our responsibility to pick up where she left off. Families needing assistance can fill out a grant form and can receive assistance with immediate bills such as a mortgage or car payment, so they can stop what they’re doing and see about their child.”

Bembry added that May is a special month for their family and organization.

“This is also Keris’ birthday month,” Bembry said. “We just want to have a celebration of life for her and bring awareness about brain tumors.”

Keris was able to attend the first event in 2015 before she died.

Registration for the 5K race is $25 until April 30. The registration price will increase to $30 May 1 until race day. The Fun Run registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for 12 and under. The Phantom Runner option is $10 for those who don’t want to race but still want a T-shirt.

Bembry said the hashtag #karingmoms has been created to support moms and families involved with children with cancer, who will be honored at the ceremony.

The family fun day will be held after the run and ceremony from 10 a.m. until noon at Greenville Street Park, which will feature characters, bouncy houses and more. The family fun day is free to all registered runners or walkers.

Registration can be completed Dragonfly Running Company on LaGrange Street in downtown Newnan, at the Piedmont Fitness Center, or online via https://raceroster.com/events/2017/11769/keris-kares-royal-run-2017.

Participants may also register on site the day of the event.

Dee Glazier, owner of Dragonfly Running Company, said she also helped put the route together for the run.

“Being a specialty running shoe store in downtown Newnan, it’s natural for us to support as many of the local races as possible,” Glazier said. “We’re excited the race will be here.”

For more information, call 770-502-0200 or visit www.keriskares.org.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: