By Don Lowe

It is truly all about helping keep hope alive that the Hope 4 You 5K Run/1-Mile Walk continues to be such an important event annually in Joplin with so many residents and visitors doing their part so Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation can continue its extraordinary work. 

This year’s run/walk is slated for the last Saturday in October with all proceeds going to benefit the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation. Their mission is to help raise awareness, provide support, offer education and instill hope for those who’ve suffered and been impacted by breast cancer. 

Kim Sanders, who serves as Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation vice president, says, “Virtually everyone who participates in this race has loved, lost, knows or been affected by breast cancer. 

“This event is so much more than just a race with a start and finish line. It provides the opportunity for everyone to celebrate life, enjoy fellowship, share support and lift each other up.” 

Sanders says, “Dana Hutson conceptualized the inaugural race with many community volunteers. The very first race (2008) was at Northpark Mall.” 

It was a simple concept at the outset and Sanders says, “The Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation believed a 5K run and 1-mile walk would be a great way to help raise awareness, promote the importance of early detection and celebrate our breast cancer survivors and honor those we have lost to the disease.” 

There have been so many people instrumental with helping make this event go smoothly year after year and Sanders lauds, “Our organization has been blessed by such a wonderful community. Joplin and the Four- State Area have been supportive of the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation since we began in 2007. 

“Over the years, numerous sponsors and many volunteers have helped to make this race the success it has been. Supporting sponsors include local hospitals, providers, businesses and individuals. Our sponsors can be seen on our Facebook page and on our website at www.” 

The financial support from this event is tremendous and Sanders states, “The Race 4 Hope is one of our largest fundraisers. The money raised will stay local to help provide mammograms for the under-insured or uninsured patients in our local area.” 

Simply put, this is a big deal for Joplin and Sanders says it is all about “bringing families, friends and survivors together.” 

Sanders couldn’t be more thrilled to be involved in something so worthwhile and she emphasizes, “I am proud to be part of this organization. The Hope 4 You board of directors consists of all volunteers. There is no paid staff, and the money raised stays local to be used in our community. 

“Since 2007, Hope 4 You has given more than $600,000 to our local hospitals to help provide mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer.” 

 Race 4 Hope 5K Race/1-Mile Run Fast Facts 

When: Saturday, Oct. 28 

Where: Begins at Spiva Park in Downtown Joplin (4th & Main streets) 

Race Day Schedule: Registration at 6:30 a.m.; survivor ceremony at 7:30 a.m.; Race 4 Hope at 8 a.m.; awards and presentations at 9 a.m. 

Entry Fees: 12 years old & up/$30; under 12 years old/$15; breast cancer survivor/$15 (day of race/$35). All payments final; no refunds. 

Early Check-In/T-shirt Pick-up: Friday, Oct. 27, 3-5:30 p.m. (Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, 320 East 4th St., Joplin) 

Honor and Memorial Flags: Sold on the day of the race/$1 

Awards: Goes to the top three male and female finishers in each of the following age categories (14 & under; 15-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; & 70 and over).  

Finalist Medals to Everyone.