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Ele’s Race 5K: Running for grieving children

Wednesday, July 27, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eric Dimoff
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More than 955 runners and walkers lined up at the starting line in support of grieving children as the 12th annual Ele’s Race 5K Run/Walk kicked off on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at the Jackson National Life Insurance Company headquarters in Okemos, Mich.

The race is Ele's Place's second largest annual fundraiser and raised approximately $76,738.09. The Ele’s Race 2016 presenting sponsor was Jackson National Life Insurance Company.

Participants from across the greater Lansing area included serious runners, casual strollers to families and children. Along the “memory mile”, runners passed heart-shaped signs displayed to honor the memory of their loved ones that have died.

Race Results:

The top five male finishers were:

  • Andrew Middleton
  • Nate Kimble
  • Joey Burelle
  • Keith Erichson
  • Riley VanPelt

The top five female finishers were:

  • Stacey Foote
  • Christine Vincent
  • Alissa Folger
  • Rhonda Dick
  • Katie Simcock

The top five family finishers were:

  • Shane and Lillana Lehnst
  • Patti and Alison Judson
  • Pam Dunckel and daughter
  • Anna Schmidt, Kathleen, Carl and Paul Gallo
  • Lori Rasche and family

Grand prizes were awarded to:

  • Overall Male and Female: Andrew Middleton, Eaton Rapids and Stacey Foote, East Lansing
  • Overall Male and Female Masters Brian Jones, Burton & Christine Vincent, Jackson
  • Overall Male and Female Grand Masters Cruz Martinez, Lansing, and Rhonda Dick, Dewitt

More than 81 children turned out for the Playmakers Kids Mile Series. Children’s activities also included a kids 100-yard dash, crafts and games. Live music on the course was provided by UpDraft, with finish line music provided by Playmakers.

About Ele’s Place

Ele’s Place is a nonprofit, community based organization dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children and their families. Through peer support group programs, Ele’s Place helps children to cope with the death of a parent, sibling or other loved one.

Before coming to Ele’s Place, many grieving children feel alone and keep their feelings inside, not wanting to burden their parents or other family members. Often, friends don’t seem to understand if they haven’t had a similar experience. But each week at Ele’s Place, hundreds of grieving children find a warm and welcoming place to meet new friends who really understand how they feel and begin to heal after the death of a loved one. For more information, visit


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