Color Run raises more than $17,000 for cancer research

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

 PELHAM – There were more than 200 people running through a spectrum of colorful clouds as racers gathered for the annual Oak Mountain Color Run on March 13.

The event serves as an annual cancer research fundraiser conducted by members of Oak Mountain High School’s Student Government Association.

The event kicked off around 9 a.m. that morning where a diverse group of students, teachers, local residents and parents and their children came out to race through Oak Mountain State Park for a good cause.

“It is really cool to be able to get together with a bunch of my fellow students to raise money and help fund something that is really important and needs more money all the time,” said Color Run Chair Katie Killian.

Through ticket sales, sponsorships and donations the run was able to raise $17,495 which well exceeded their goal of $14,000, signaling an overwhelming success for the event and organizers.

According to SGA Sponsor Lauren Ingram, the funds from the run will go to the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Research Center at UAB, which helps provide services and treatment to help improve the lives of those facing different forms of cancer.

“For me personally this is very important,” said Ingram. “My grandmother and my husband’s grandparents all passed away from cancer. Looking back, if my grandmother had access to their cancer services she might have had a better prognosis.  Seeing all the incredible work that O’Neal Cancer Research does, and what we hear from people who go there means a lot to me. I just hope that through this they will be able to continue to help a lot of people.”

In fact, the run was founded back in 2013 by Mandy Kelly and Mollie Shealy for a similar reason. They both credited the idea to their loss of grandparents from cancer.

The event was an incredible effort that was conducted mostly by students from OMHS, who gave their time and energy to ensure a successful run.

“I am feeling so great about this,” Ingram said. “Katie has really just taken charge of this event. This entire group of students is amazing. They are really organized and passionate about this cause. They want to raise a lot of money for this group.”

Safety was also a priority at the event. Since they were outdoors, the runners were able to easily socially distance. The SGA also made sure that there was sanitizing stations available for those who would need them.

Aside from helping to support a cause, the event was a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the warm pre-spring weather and get some exercise in the outdoors. The weather on the day of the race was a perfect taste of spring, which helped draw in more people.

See all our photos from this event and purchase images at www.ShelbyCountyPhotos.com