The second annual 5k was designed to inspire people to pay it forward. This year there were hundreds of people wearing glow in the dark apparel, lighting and glow sticks wrapped around their bodies, which raised $7,000 for the winning nominee! This year there was six inspirational nominees and their stories displayed on our website for a couple weeks. Their inspirational stories were voted on by the community and people all around the world. The nominee with the most votes would be awarded ALL proceeds from the race.
The winner of the Glow Stick 5k proceeds this year was Lily Grace Schwarck, 12 months, daughter of Levi and Jill Schwarck, who are firmly from the Cedar Valley and now living in Steamboat Rock. Lily is battling SMA, spinal muscular atrophy type 1. The nomination said her “parents are strong and brave people that inspire us all.
Levi Schwark was on hand to accept the award, telling the crowd how moved he was by everyone’s support. But Schwark said all the other nominees were equally deserving, and he wanted to split the money evenly between all the nominees!!!!!
The other nominees were:
– the family of the late Joshua Carew of Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids, who was working to better the life of the citizens of Sierra Leone, his home county. He was unexpectedly found dead in his apartment while working in Sierra Leone. The family is in need of financial support to burry their husband/father in Sierra Leone, since that was his wishes.
– Stratton Yant of Cedar Falls, an employee of Pioneer Seed on Reinbeck, who is battling testicular cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant but maintains a positive attitude. After finding several forms of cancer a couple years back, he hasn’t started fighting!
– Heidi Siddell of Waterloo, a single mother of two boys who is always helping out others and leads a selfless lifestyle!
– Cookies by Noah, sends cookies to the troops overseas, donates to Make a Wish, send kids to summer class, and makes sure kids have a bed to sleep in!
– Kimberly Westphalia of Evansdale, an inspiration to her family and those with special needs, now battling stage four cancer.
For Levi and his family to split the $7,000 that was JUST awarded to him, shows exactly why they were nominated in the first place. As they are going through an indescribably hard time, they continue to look out for those around them. They are giving back! They are paying it forward! And they are showing us again why so many people found them so inspiring! In the moment Levi said he wanted to split the money equally was the most humbling and inspiring moment of the night. That moment made all the hard work put into making this race possibly worth it 100 times fold! We are beyond happy that each of this year’s nominees were both recognize and awarded for their continuous and ongoing truly inspirational lifestyles!!