We owe many thanks for the fun and successful 4th annual CleftStrong 5k held on October 15, 2017 at Mission County Park. Despite the chance of thunderstorms, around 550 people gathered in support of cleft and craniofacial conditions on this amazing morning. A community of participants and volunteers came together with corporate sponsors, personal donors, and virtual racers across the world, including our first ever international virtual racer from Indonesia, Prasetyanugraheni Kreshanti, and raised $27,300.00 in support of ACPA Family Services' mission to serve and support not only the patients who are personally affected, but just as importantly, their support systems too.
ACPA Family Services (formerly known as the Cleft Palate Foundation) merged with the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) in June, 2017. With this merge, professionals and families work more closely together to better achieve the ACPA Family Services' mission: to optimize outcomes for individuals with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions through education, support, research, advocacy and interdisciplinary team care. All funds generated from the 4th annual CleftStrong 5k support advancing patient care through important cleft-craniofacial medical research as well as education, resources and opportunities for patients born with cleft and other craniofacial conditions, their families and the professionals who serve them.
The 4th annual CleftStrong 5k brought new and exciting highlights! For a second year, The Children's Hospital of San Antonio was the presenting sponsor of the CleftStrong 5k. We had the absolute honor of welcoming president of the hospital, Mr. Elias Neujahr to share a message as the morning started. We remain forever grateful for the remarkable support CleftStrong has received from doctors and health care professionals throughout the community and beyond that has helped make this event what it is today. When asked the question, "What was your favorite part of the CleftStrong 5k?", many of our cleftstrong warriors and families simply replied, "getting to share the morning with my cleft team". Thank you for your partnership on this journey - inside and outside of the medical setting.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming back Dr. Alejandra Garcia de Mitchell, Division Chief of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio along with several other team members of The Children's Hospital of San Antonio craniofacial team. We also had the pleasure of awarding Dr. Garcia de Mitchell top third finisher in her age category, as well. Thank you for your continued support!
One of the nation's leading pediatric plastic surgeons for children born with cleft lip and palate calls San Antonio home. It is always a great honor to welcome Dr. Peter Wang and his family! Dr. Wang and his team at Methodist Children's Hospital have been active supporters of the CleftStrong 5k since the beginning and have played a special role in making this event what it is today.
The one and only Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr. with part of the Methodist Children's Hospital Craniofacial Team including the adorable 4 legged team member, ROSCOE! He is the Methodist Children Hospital's service dog who entertains and helps to cheer patients at the cleft clinics each month. We were thrilled he joined us this year! Dr. Gonzalez Jr.'s excitement for the CleftStrong mission has been a special driving force throughout the years.
The CleftStrong 5k welcomed back a very special guest along with a few more this year. Mr. Zack Rodetis-Urenda shared on his recent travels overseas with this year's participants and spent some of the morning photographing participants to be included in his worldwide fine art photography project, 1IN700. CleftStrong also welcomed Mrs. Lacey Buchanan, author of Through the Eyes of Hope, her family, and Mr. Angel Castorena, founder of San Antonio's Rockula Expo to share on their personal cleft journeys with this year's participants.
Makeup Junkie Bags presented CleftStrong and ACPA a check for $2,100.00 after the race this year! Makeup Junkie Bags ran a charity bag promotion during the month of July in honor of MJB Owner, Meredith Jurica's niece who was born with a cleft lip and palate. All proceeds were donated to the CleftStrong 5k event in support of ACPA's mission to advance patient care and research for individuals affected by cleft lip, palate, and other craniofacial anomalies.
The Spurs Coyote started the race off with a BANG once again this year! CleftStrong warriors were found along the entire route. We send our congratulations to all of the 2017 CleftStrong 5k race winners this year. Mr. Brandon Hernandez finished as the Top Overall Male Finisher, coming in at 20:27 and Ms. Michaela Goodgame finished as the Top Overall Female Finisher, coming in at 25:53. For a complete list of all age category winners, click here. We had several fun awards given out this year. Congratulations to our Best Adult Storybook Character Costume: Carol Mantle, dressed as the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom book and our Best Child Storybook Character Costume: Yusuf Mehdawi. Team Amaris came in as our largest team this year. All were dressed perfectly with the sweetest shirts! Kate de la Garza was awarded for creating this year's top fundraising team. All together, The Fast and the Ruthieness raised $2,925.00 in support of other cleft journeys!
Youth participants also spent some of their morning making care cards for children who will be undergoing their first cleft lip or palate surgery this year. They did an amazing job and watching them support others from the heart was the best. We also enjoyed awarding our top 9 and under finishers for the first time this year. Winning a race is always exciting, but winning a race in support of your peers.. now that's pretty amazing. We hope it touched your hearts as much as it did ours.
We send a warm thank you to the CleftStrong 5k Committee, all community supporters, participants, corporate sponsors, and donors for making the 4th annual CleftStrong 5k a fun and successful morning of community togetherness and meaningful support. If you would like to be a part of next year's event, please contact us here!
Ray and Chelsea Ortiz
Check out the 2017 CleftStrong 5k Photo Gallery
Thank you to the 2017 CleftStrong 5k Sponsors: The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, Makeup Junkie Bags, MSC Earthwork, Ortiz & Batis, San Antonio Claims Association, Premiere Autoplex, Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr., Rockula, Methodist Children's Hospital, Diamond Automotive Group, Debbie Stolle Interiors, Dent, Jadestone Real Estate, Fat Joe's Jerky, US Legal Support, MTF Biologics, Lindow, Stephens & Treat, LLP
Santikos Entertainment⎮La Hacienda ⎮ Embassy Suites ⎮ Stars and Stripes Drive In ⎮ Photography by Vidal Diaz ⎮Amy's Ice Cream ⎮Tim Strong ⎮San Antonio Zoo ⎮Blend Record Retrieval ⎮Bike World ⎮Kendra Scott ⎮Painting with a Twist⎮Dermatology Associates of San Antonio⎮Inspired by Colton ⎮San Antonio Museum of Art ⎮Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resorts ⎮Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch ⎮1IN700/Little Weaving Willow⎮ Top Golf ⎮Bowlero ⎮Embassy Suites ⎮Main Event⎮Bagel Factory ⎮Alterman