The third annual Holly Run is Nov. 12 near the Milan town hall. Pre-registration is 9 a.m., the Fun Run at 10 a.m. and the 5K is at 10:30.
“This is not your average 5K; it’s an all-day party,” said Troy Haslinger, who founded the charity, Life Is Good No Matter What, which will receive the proceeds from Holly Run.
“Most of the day is dedicated to the party,” he added.
The one-day event will feature music from Honeycreek, food from Jim’s Pizza Box and the Wicked Creations food truck, beer and wine. There also will be face painting, cornhole and karaoke. The Edison Chargers marching band will perform “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“There’s a lot of people who come just to support the charity,” said Dawn Shover, a member of the Holly Run committee, referring to Life Is Good.
Holly Run is a fundraiser for Life Is Good, which grants “escapes” to eligible adult patients who have advanced cancer and live in northern Ohio. The Reflector ran a feature about Norwalk resident Ann Newman, whose family enjoyed her late husband’s “escape” trip to Cleveland, which inspired her to study massage therapy at EHOVE Career Center and give back to others.
Haslinger created the charity to honor the battle cry his late sister, Holly Haslinger Sneider, had while battling colon cancer for 18 months.
Sneider, a mother of three who died Nov. 12, 2011, lived the last 10 years of her life in Milan. She was 39.
“She loved Milan and Milan loved her,” said Shover, one of Sneider’s longtime best friends.
“I loved Holly like a sister,” the Milan woman added.
This year’s Holly Run is on the fifth anniversary of Sneider’s passing.
“It’s always the second Saturday. It just happened to be on her anniversary,” Haslinger said.
During the first year, there were more than 500 runners. Last year, 700-plus runners participated.
“The goal is to really knock it out of the park and hit 3,000,” Shover said.
Starting this year’s 5K will be Dan Obringer, a Milan-area man. He and 200 family members had their escape at Kalahari Resort.
Life Is Good truly started with Sneider.
“Holly wanted (her brother) Troy to do something for people with cancer,” said Sneider’s mother, Cindy Haslinger. “I just think she wanted to help other people.”
Sneider’s brother said he believes Holly Run is a family-friendly event.
“Some people came just to have a good time,” he said. “But after being inspired, they become part of the team.”
Register at signmeup.com/114417 by Nov. 1 to guarantee a T-shirt. There is a $25 registration fee and $30 the day of Holly Run.