Garden of Life® Sun Run 5K Challenge Results
RAISES $20,000 FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS
There was plenty of sun, lots of fun and more than 1,000 people attending Garden of Life’s first annual 5K Sun Run Challenge on June 4 at PGA National! The exciting family event attracted runners from throughout Florida and across the country to compete for cash prizes and a chance to win a brand new Honda Fit car. Race participants raised $10,000 for Special Olympics Palm Beach County and Garden of Life matched it with another $10,000 for a total of $20,000.
“We’re very thankful to Garden of Life for this extremely generous donation and to every single person who participated in the race,” said Rich Fleming, Director of Special Olympics, Palm Beach County. “This means a lot to us and to our athletes.”
The 5K race on the PGA National Championship Course featured two elite heats with 20 top runners and more than 800 in the field vying for prize money and a chance to win the car. Joseph Gray of Colorado Springs set a course record in the Men’s Elite Heat with a time of 14:12 to win a $2,500 cash prize while Jennifer Bergman of Flagstaff, Arizona, place first in the Women’s Heat with a time of 17:06 to also win $2,500. All participants and attendees received a goody bag valued at $300 and enjoyed a free breakfast buffet on the Honda Pavilion after the race. Even with the temperature hovering at 90 degrees, everyone eagerly waited to see who would win the Honda Fit car and which baby would crawl the fastest to win the Diaper Derby.
In a random drawing with all participants receiving an equal chance, local resident Karen Sweeney won the Honda Fit car valued at $20,000. With a shocked expression on her face, she hugged Garden of Life’s president, Brian Ray, and exclaimed to the crowd, “I can’t believe this! I never win anything!”
Following the check presentations and announcements, spectators were treated to the Diaper Derby race, which featured the fastest crawling babies in South Florida! With parents waving toys and bribing their youngsters to cross the finish line, there was also encouragement from Captain America and Scrappy the Appealing Banana to cheer them on. The winning baby (who refused to state her name) won $250, which was not bad for a two minute crawl!
Garden of Life president Brian Ray said the Sun Run 5K was the perfect chance for the company to give back to the community and to support Special Olympics.
“We want people to know that Garden of Life was founded 16 years ago in Palm Beach Gardens,” Ray said. “We wanted to do this fun, family event for the community to let people know that our mission is to empower extraordinary health here in our hometown, as well as the rest of the world. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank every person who came out and showed their support!”