Superhero 5K benefits terminally ill children

Jan. 13, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

There were no bat signals in the sky or calls from the Hall of Justice, but local heroes gathered Saturday to help children in need.   

More than 50 local runners – donned in their best superhero attire — participated in the Kiss The Toads Creations Superhero 5K Dash Saturday morning at Western Harnett High School, with the proceeds going toward a superhero party for terminally ill children at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham.

“I just like helping little kids,” said Kelly Buie, wearing her Supergirl outfit. “I just want to raise money for those in need and I was asked to come out.”

This was the first North Carolina event for Kiss The Toads Creations, a nonprofit organization based out of California that makes superhero capes for terminally ill children and their families, said KISS Ambassador Jennifer Calvelo.

“I hope they recognize Kiss for what we do,” Calvelo said. “It’s not just the terminally ill children. The capes and party is for the whole family.”

The proceeds from the runners’ registration and sponsorships will fund a superhero party on Feb. 4 at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, Calvelo said, and several “superheroes” will make appearances during the party.

“We want people to know we are here and we want to support a really good cause,” she said.

Methodist University student Paul Brown heard about the run from other students and said he enjoyed running for a good cause.

“It was a rough run, but it was a lot of fun,” he said.

KISS Ambassador Rhonda Gwyn said they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the run, but the community was overwhelmingly supportive.

“We had sponsors bringing us water and food,” she said. “We were able to get a bouncy castle. And we have volunteers out on the trail and helping with face painting.”

Originally, the organizers were only expecting 20 runners and were surprised by the large turnout, said KISS Ambassador Denise Godfrey.

“I think the reaction has been amazing,” she said. “I think a lot of runner enjoy running for a good cause. A child facing an illness brings out everybody.”