On Sunday, September 18, 2016, nearly 500 people gathered for the 3rd annual CleftStrong Family 5k in support of those born with cleft lip, palate and other craniofacial conditions. The community came together with virtual racers across the states, corporate sponsors, and personal donors, and raised $25,000.00 to help support the Cleft Palate Foundation's (CPF) mission to serve and support not only patients born with cleft and other craniofacial conditions, but just as importantly, their support systems too.
CPF is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1973 to be the public service arm of the American Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association. All funds generated from the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k will help support important cleft-craniofacial medical research and provide cutting edge resources for cleft patients, families, and health care providers in such areas as feeding, surgeries, therapies, and the importance of family-centered teams working together to meet the specialized care that is required from the moment these children are born.
The CleftStrong 5k brought several exciting new highlights this year, including its very first presenting sponsor, The Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Several doctors and healthcare professionals brought support of many kinds on this morning, such as Dr. Alejandra Garcia, Chief of the Craniofacial team at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, Dr. Peter Wang, Chief of the Craniofacial team at Methodist Children's Hospital, and Dr. Roy Gonzalez, Jr., who specializes in craniofacial orthodontics and has been part of the Methodist Hospital Cleft Palate team for the past 25 years. Additionally, Creator and author of the worldwide 1 in 700 project, Zack Rodetis - Urenda made his first appearance in Texas at the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k! Zack gave an inspirational and informative talk about his own experience with cleft lip and his fast growing project. Several of this year's participants helping to make up the cleft community were photographed at the event and will be a part of his inspiring photography book!
This year's course started with a thrill as the Spurs Coyote got participants off to a good start with high fives! Along the course, the most amazing kids were found dressed as quite the superheroes to relay a message of strength for their peers recovering from major surgeries over the summer. A member of the cleft community, Anthony Towns, moved this year's participants as he opened the closing award ceremony with a better understanding for cleft conditions. He shared, both, his own personal experience with cleft lip and palate and the journey of fathering his son born with cleft lip and palate, as well. (See below to view his message)
CleftStrong 5k congratulates all race winners this year! For a second consecutive year, Mr. Malachi Braddy finished as the Top Overall Male Finisher, coming in at 18.42.9. Ms. Yvonne Boyer came in as this year's Top Overall Female Finisher at 24:55.2. To see the complete list of results, Click here!
This morning of awareness and understanding, community togetherness, and meaningful support would not have been possible without its kind hearted corporate sponsors, donors, and crew of volunteers. CleftStrong sends its sincerest thanks to all who believe in its mission. In joining this worthy cause, your help assists children born with cleft and craniofacial conditions through each phase of their journey and in more ways than you might ever imagine!
More photos of this special morning to come at www.cleftstrong5k.com.