(Sept. 18, 2020) In step with numerous events this year, Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation will hold a virtual 5K fundraiser.
On Sunday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m., participants can walk, run, bike or even roller blade anywhere they like.
Wayne Littleton, Ocean City respite house coordinator, said that registration is available up to the last minute. It costs $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12, $5 for dogs and $20 for those active in the military.
He added that there will be a best-looking dog contest as well.
Believe in Tomorrow in Ocean City hosts families with children who are critically ill for a week of vacation. The organization has condos on 66th Street, 28th Street and in Fenwick.
The nonprofit has had to cancel multiple events this year – the Beach Bash, Gala by the Sea and the 5K in Bethany Beach.
The Beach Bash was rescheduled as a virtual drawing for $10,000, on Monday, Oct 12. The event, held annually at Seacrets in Ocean City, typically draws between 700 and 800 attendees, and raises at least $40,000.
All the events were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Here at the Children’s House, we have no funding, so I constantly have to be raising money to run the place,” Littleton said. “We wanted to do something, so we thought the virtual 5K could be something that we could do safely.”
To make the event virtual, participants are encouraged to post photos and videos of themselves or their group on Facebook and tag Believe in Tomorrow. Photos and videos will be shared on Believe in Tomorrow’s page up until about 1 p.m.
Littleton said registration is going well so far, with some participants from miles away.
“We have a gentleman in Denver that’s going to participate,” Littleton said. “We have people in Florida, we have people up in Delaware [and] a lot of local people.”
The virtual event will kick off at 8 a.m. with a video of the national anthem, followed by a mix of videos created by children who have stayed at the house and pictures of those participating in the race.
There will be T-shirts for those registered, while they last.
Littleton said any amount of funding will help, as the pandemic has been hard on everyone. The respite house still has to keep up with utilities, insurance and upkeep of the condos.
“We’ve had no funding for the whole summer,” Littleton said. “We’ve just been living off what we raised last year. We’ve done a couple little online auctions.”
Believe in Tomorrow could finally welcome families and children back the second week of June. Although the respite house typically sends families out for activities such as surf lessons and trips to Jolly Roger Amusement Park or Trimper’s Rides, most of those activities were unavailable or limited during pandemic restrictions.
To prepare, Littleton said the staff installed new TVs in the condos.
“We went in and put a ton of games in the units, whatever we could, because we knew people were going to spend more time here,” Littleton said.
Another change Littleton mentioned is that the summer is usually booked with families, but this year, some groups opted out because of various concerns and staff had to reschedule.
Looking forward to the virtual race, Littleton said that he was surprised it’s done well so far.
“It shouldn’t surprise me because I know the community we live in is just good-hearted people,” Littleton said.
The 5K is sponsored by Nations Lending, All States Construction, Alesi Custom Builders & Renovators, Creative Concepts Home Furnishings, Tecta America, Mann Properties, Michael G. Mann Foundation, Park Place Jewelers, Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645, Northern Building Restoration, the Bobenko Family, Larry and Julie Diamond, Alexandria, the Traffic Group, Bikers Without Borders, Ocean City/Berlin Rotary Club, Bank of Delmarva, Paws and Claws Pet Store and PetSmart.
To register, visit believeintomorrow.rallybound.org/believe-in-tomorrow-5k.