Mer­ritt Ath­letic Clubs’ 3rd An­nual Wish Race 5K

The Dundalk Eagle - - THEY TOOK THE EAGLE ON VACATION - By LISA HAR­LOW

On Sun­day, May 20, run­ners and walk­ers of all skill lev­els will lace up their sneak­ers for Mer­ritt Clubs’ 3rd An­nual Wish Race 5K Run and Walk. The 3.1-mile event, pre­sented by Chick-Fil-A Not­ting­ham Square and held at the Com­mu­nity Col­lege of Bal­ti­more County Es­sex, will con­sist of both a road race and trail run through­out the cam­pus. 100% of pro­ceeds of the 5K will be do­nated to ben­e­fit Make-A-Wish MidAt­lantic.

Ac­cord­ing to Race Di­rec­tor An­drew Lin­gel­bach, Fit­ness En­gage­ment Team Leader and ACSM Cer­ti­fied Per­sonal Trainer at Mer­ritt Clubs, the 5K is get­ting close to a life­time fundrais­ing goal of $15,000 for Make-A-Wish. This year’s race goal is $7,500.

Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has en­riched the lives of chil­dren with life-threat­en­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mis­sion re­flects the life-chang­ing im­pact that a Make-A-Wish ex­pe­ri­ence has on chil­dren, fam­i­lies, and com­mu­ni­ties.

Tens of thou­sands of vol­un­teers, donors and sup­port­ers help make pos­si­ble the MakeA-Wish vi­sion to grant the wish of ev­ery child di­ag­nosed with a life-threat­en­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion. In the United States and its ter­ri­to­ries, on av­er­age, a wish is granted ev­ery 34 min­utes. Some wishes in­clude meet­ing fa­vorite celebri­ties or sports stars, go­ing to Dis­ney World or on other dream va­ca­tions, and hav­ing other ex­pe­ri­ences that they would never have had a chance to do oth­er­wise.

Lin­gel­bach started the Wish Race 5K be­cause as a young child, he bat­tled child­hood can­cer like many of the Make-A-Wish kids. He is a sur­vivor of retinoblas­toma, a can­cer that starts in the retina, the very back part of the eye. He went through the ma­jor­ity of his can­cer treat­ment when he was 3 and 4 years old.

“Make-A-Wish helps kids who are es­sen­tially los­ing their child­hood be­cause they are deal­ing with their health, some­thing that most peo­ple take for granted,” he said. “I want to reach out and help that group of kids who weren’t as for­tu­nate as I was.”

Mer­ritt train­ers will be on hand to warm up the crowd prior to the race, which par­tic­i­pants can run or walk. There will also be post-race re­fresh­ments, along with live en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing bal­loon an­i­mals, uni­cy­cling, jug­gling, and more.

“We are re­ally ex­cited about this year’s 5K and hope that ev­ery­one can come out and sup­port Make-A-Wish,” said Lin­gel­bach. “The or­ga­ni­za­tion re­ally does make a huge im­pact on chil­dren and fam­i­lies who are go­ing through ex­tremely dif­fi­cult times.”

Par­tic­i­pants can reg­is­ter in per­son at the front desk at the Mer­ritt Club in White Marsh, on ac­tive.com, or on the morn­ing of the race.

Make-A-Wish wish grant­ing is a four-step process. Each step builds on the next to cre­ate amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for wish kids and their fam­i­lies. A wish ex­pe­ri­ence is fre­quently a source of in­spi­ra­tion for chil­dren un­der­go­ing dif­fi­cult med­i­cal treat­ments. Step 1: Re­fer­ral Make-A-Wish re­lies on med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, par­ents and chil­dren them­selves for re­fer­rals. Chil­dren who have reached the age of 2½ and are un­der the age of 18 at the time of re­fer­ral and have not re­ceived a wish from an­other wish-grant­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion may be el­i­gi­ble for a wish.

Step 2: Med­i­cal El­i­gi­bil­ity They de­ter­mine a child’s med­i­cal el­i­gi­bil­ity with the help of the treat­ing physi­cian. To re­ceive a wish, the child must be di­ag­nosed with a life-threat­en­ing med­i­cal con­di­tion (i.e., a pro­gres­sive, de­gen­er­a­tive or ma­lig­nant con­di­tion that has placed the child’s life in jeop­ardy). Step 3: The Wish

They send one of their en­thu­si­as­tic wish teams to learn the child’s one true wish. Th­ese com­mit­ted vol­un­teers con­nect with wish chil­dren, awaken their imag­i­na­tions and help them en­vi­sion an ex­pe­ri­ence with the power to change lives.

Step 4: Cre­at­ing Joy The wish granters cre­ate an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence driven by the child’s cre­ativ­ity. They strive to per­son­al­ize each wish and to make it match the wish kid’s idea of a per­fect day.

Make-A-Wish is only able to cre­ate life-chang­ing wish ex­pe­ri­ences with help from ded­i­cated staff, vol­un­teers, donors and other sup­port­ers, like those who will par­tic­i­pate in the Wish Race 5K. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to:

http://midat­lantic.wish. org/news-and-events/cal­en­dar-of-events/events-time­folder/fy18-events/mer­rittclub-wish-race-5k.

To reg­is­ter, go to https://www.ac­tive.com/ bal­ti­more-md/run­ning/ dis­tance-run­ning-races/ mer­ritt-club-s-3rd-an­nu­al­wish-race-5k-pres-by-chick-fila-not­ting­ham-square-2018.

Pre­sented by Chick-Fil-A Not­ting­ham Square Sun­day, May 20 at 9 a.m. Com­mu­nity Col­lege of Bal­ti­more County — Es­sex Cam­pus, 7201 Rossville Boule­vard

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