The Roar Through Ybor 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run was held on Friday, April 19th at Centennial Park in historic Ybor City. This Donate Life Month event was co-hosted by LifeLink Legacy Fund® and Lions Eye Institute For Transplant & Research (LEITR), the local eye recovery organization partner for the LifeLink of Florida service area. This race was held to promote the lifesaving message of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, and raise funds for both the LifeLink Legacy Fund and LEITR. Despite some stormy weather on race day, which continued throughout the day up until peak time for race check-in and registration, there was a great turnout by race participants and volunteers. Sunny skies and a cool breeze appeared just as racers were gathering at the Start Line. The race kickoff included remarks from Liz Lehr, LifeLink of Florida Executive Director/Sr. Vice President and JL Bielon, LEITR Foundation Director. Additionally, there was an acoustic rendition of the national anthem sung by retired United States Air Force Sargent Sonya Bryson, who is also a local Tampa Bay celebrity for her role as designated national anthem singer for all Tampa Bay Lightning home games.
(Shown above, left to right: Liz Lehr, LifeLink of Florida; JL Bielon, LEITR; and Sonya Bryson, singing the national anthem)
Following Sonya’s performance, focus shifted to the race start line where 5k participants began at 7:00 PM sharp, followed by 1 Mile Fun Run participants 10 minutes later. All race participants received finisher medals, hand crafted by PARC, a Tampa Bay-based organization that offers employment opportunities to mentally disabled adults. Additionally, top placement awards were given to the top three finishers for each age category. The Top Overall Female & Male 5K Finishers received special recognition with chip times of 18:06 minutes and 16:35 minutes respectively. The Top Fundraising Team, “Casey’s Crew”, also received a specialty award for raising $1,380.00 in honor of Casey Paleveda, who saved lives through organ and tissue donation after his tragic passing in December 2010.
(Shown above, left to right: Rodney Ford, 5K Bike Marshal & Living Kidney Donor; 5K start line; race participants celebrating completion of the race; and “Casey’s Crew”, Top Fundraising Team)
The Roar Through Ybor resulted in 1,583 race registrations, including the formation of 76 race teams. Race teams included representation from multiple donor families, hospital partners, community organization partners and an overwhelming show of support by LifeLink staff, including the LifeLink of Florida designated race team, “I Can’t, I’m On Call” and several other LifeLink employee established race teams.
(Shown above, left to right: LifeLink Executive Leadership Team; and 2 race teams during pre-race kickoff festivities)
The LifeLink Public Affairs Department would like to thank all who participated with this event, either as a race participant or event volunteer. Be sure to check out event photos and/or 5k race results by visiting our race web page.