It is with great excitement CleftStrong announces its first ever exclusive jeweler for the CleftStrong annual 5k: fellow cleft strong and proud mom, Founder of Cleft Connect, and Designer/Owner of Inspired by Colton Jewelry for a Cause, Melinda Bly. Melinda has designed and donated several pieces of jewelry for the upcoming event, two of which will be awarded to our overall male and female finishers after the race! "Finishing every charity run is unique in its own special way, and this year we will have the absolute pleasure of awarding our cleft supportive top male and female finishers with a design from one of our very own in the amazing cleft community" says race organizer, Chelsea Ortiz. "Imagine designing and preparing handmade and heartfelt donations while also preparing for hurricane Irma to make direct landfall in your state. Now you have just a glimpse into this special lady's heart."
CleftStrong is grateful for all of the support it has received to date and is hard at work preparing for October 15th!
We are just 2 weeks and 4 days away from our deadline to receive a customized race day bib with your registration! Go ahead....
A word from Melinda:
Spread the word for the month of September! My ETSY store is offering 15% off all cleft related product to celebrate cleft & craniofacial awareness month!
All sales go to a special project I started with a fellow cleft mom Lisa Wyzlic. Every month, we send out cleft mom packages. Everything we are doing is being supported by our small business companies we run. So far we have sent out 10 packages filled with love and support for the moms.
Zack Rodetis-Urenda, author and creator of the worldwide fine art photography project that is capturing the cleft community one special click at a time, will be returning to the annual CleftStrong 5k benefiting those born with cleft and craniofacial conditions on October 15, 2017. His goal is simple and powerful: capture 700 individuals who are affected by cleft conditions to create a fine art photography book with the hope of educating present and future societies as well as the current and incoming cleft community. As he puts it, "A difference in journey is an opportunity to learn, empathize and grow together." At CleftStrong, we believe that this project will break barriers of many kind including some of those that are built based on the unknown. We believe it will clear uncertainties and shake discomfort, just as Zack hopes. We send you a special invitation to join us this fall to be a part of it all!
Zack shares, "I am so excited to be a part of the CleftStrong 5k again! I have a lot of new things in the works that I cannot wait to share with everyone and I look forward to photographing those I missed the first time around!" Zack is set to speak during opening ceremony at the 4th annual CleftStrong 5k. He will share on the growth of this inspiring project and some of the wonderful memories from his travels overseas! Join us in welcoming 1IN700 back to Texas this year as we race for cleft and craniofacial conditions along the San Antonio River Mission Reach area!
Until then, connect with Zack and the 1IN700 project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
October 15 • Mission County Park
4th Annual CleftStrong Event Details
6030 Padre Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78214
We are more than excited to welcome Lacey Buchanan and her sweet family as honorary guests of the CleftStrong 5k this year! Lacey and her husband, Chris know all too well the challenges of raising a child with the special needs that accompany craniofacial conditions. Their first son, Christian was born blind with Tessier cleft lip and palate, classifications 3, 4 and 5, a condition so rare that it is reported as one of only fifty known cases in the world. Christian's condition was caused by amniotic band syndrome where fibrous bands in the womb attached to his face and restricted blood flow during fetal development. You have probably seen Lacey's powerful video that went viral several years ago which introduced the world to their heartfelt journey one notecard at a time. This one video shook the world, but it would soon prove to be just the beginning.
Lacey released her book, Through the Eyes of Hope in January, 2017 and she has spent the past few years traveling the country, touching lives with one truly inspiring message of relentless faith, prayer, and hope. She dedicates this book to "every parent of a child with special needs who has ever felt burned out, run-down, stretched too thin, overwhelmed, or ill equipped and she sends one sweet message of hope: God has called you, and He will equip you. Your circumstances don't define you, nor do they define the God we serve. His truths are still truth, and He will make good on His promises".
Join us on October 15th and help us give a BIG Texas welcome to her amazing family. They will be traveling from their hometown in Tennessee and we are honored to welcome them to their first visit to San Antonio, Texas. It will be a morning you won't want to miss as Lacey speaks about their incredible journey! Lacey shares, "I am so excited to be attending the CleftStrong 5k in San Antonio this fall! As a family affected by a craniofacial difference including a cleft, supporting organizations like the Cleft Palate Foundation is so important to us!" She also says running is a passion of hers and that getting to run while supporting the Cleft Palate Foundation is a win/win! If you'd like to follow her now until then, and don't already, make sure to find her on Facebook @LaceyandChristianBuchanan! Christian is now in kindergarten learning to read braille and just earned his yellow belt in karate!
For those who have not read Through the Eyes of Hope, Lacey will have copies on sale this special morning. For those who can't wait that long, you can purchase yours now at AmazonSmile! This book is eligible for donation to the Cleft Palate Foundation. Simply select to support the Cleft Palate Foundation and a portion of your purchase will support its mission to serve individuals and families affected by cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions.
Mark you calendars with love: The 4th annual CleftStrong 5k will start and finish at the Mission County Park, just south of downtown San Antonio, Tx on October 15, 2017 at 9 a.m.! This year, the course will take participants along the Mission Reach trails of the San Antonio River and that makes for one natural, scenic, and historic route to enjoy. The event is scheduled to finish a little before the lunch hour, so pack a picnic and make a day of it! The Mission Reach, in its 13 miles of the SA River, connects 4 of the 5 Spanish colonial missions to the San Antonio River which have been recently designated as a World Heritage Site.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW THIS YEAR?
• New year = New theme: Every smile holds a story. Every story holds a smile. Dress as your
favorite story book character and share your smile! We will be awarding the participant with the
best costume after the race.
• Don't miss the FREE 9 and Under option where up to 2 children (9 and Under) are free
per one paid adult this year. (All children must be accompanied by an adult, and all children
attending must be registered.)
• Now, family, friends, and others who can't participate in the 5k can join your efforts in supporting the cause while supporting their favorite CleftStrong 5k participant by making a donation under your team. No donation is too small or big and 100% will be directly donated to the Cleft Palate Foundation to help provide excellent education, resources, and opportunities to the cleft community. Create your fundraising team here: https://www.raceentry.com/races/cleftstrong-5k/2017/fundraising/charity/charity/would-you-like-to-make-a-donation-241. We will award the team with the highest donation amount after the race!
• This year we will be awarding the largest team that participates!
• Not only is this a runner, walker, stroller, wheel chair and family friendly course - but it is also dog
friendly! The trails welcome all leashed dogs that pick up after themselves... or those with owners
who will do the work for them :)
BECOME A SPONSOR
We have wonderful sponsorship opportunities to choose from! If you're interested in partnering with CleftStrong this year, contact us here!
FOLLOW ME TO OUR UPDATED WEBSITE WITH MORE EVENT INFO AND WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
The President of the Cleft Palate Foundation, Ms. Marilyn Cohen, shares a letter of thanks to all those who supported the 3rd annual CleftStrong Family 5k. Please take a moment to read some of what your support means to so many:
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.
The Spurs Coyote has signed up for the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k. "He has one message to pass along," says race directors, Ray and Chelsea Ortiz. "He will see YOU at the start line!"
Don't miss San Antonio's first ever CleftStrong 1 in 700 Day! It will be a morning that's sure to bring you one precious, simple gift: a smile.
If you missed online registration, you can still register the morning of the race! Race day registration will open at 7 am. We recommend an early arrival to secure parking and allow time for the registration process as well as pre-race festivities.
See you there!
City of San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor has officially proclaimed Sunday, September 18, 2016, as CleftStrong ”1 in 700” Day
As we find ourselves in the last days of registration for the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k to be held on September 18, 2016 at Morgan's Wonderland, we are honored to learn that the City of San Antonio has recognized this day as CleftStrong "1 in 700" day.
"This just made an already special morning even more so" says Ray and Chelsea Ortiz. "We are thrilled to have this kind of welcome for Zack Urenda and his worldwide "1 in 700" cleft photo book project as it makes its way to Texas for the first time!"
We invite all those who have not yet signed up to join us in support of this great cause and in celebrating this recognition by our city leaders.
Zack Urenda, author and creator of "1 in 700" brings worldwide project to the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k
Zack Urenda, the brilliant and creative mind behind the the fast growing "1 in 700" project, travels the world photographing individuals affected by cleft lip, palate and other craniofacial conditions. Being born with a cleft lip, himself, Zack is on a mission to create awareness for others born cleft affected and to bring a sense of community.
Upon completion, Zack plans to put these photographs in a photo book and display them at a gallery in his hometown, Los Angeles, California. We think his work is down right beautiful.. and inspiring.. and heartwarming. It is our absolute joy to announce Zack will be sharing September 18th with us at the 3rd annual CleftStrong 5k and he will be bringing "1 in 700" with him!
Cleft Community: What does 1 in 700 mean to you? Bring your thoughts with you on September 18th and be a part of this worldwide project!
As hard as you fight, we will strive to fight alongside you.