It was a gorgeous day Sunday morning for Jacob’s Ladder Pediatric Rehabilitation and other organizations at The Giving Games Inflatable Fun Run. The event, held at Sunset Hill Farm in Valparaiso, was held for local charities and featured an obstacle course comprised of various wacky inflatable hurdles for runners to navigate.
The event saw over 100 kids and adults turn out to participate in the run from many local organizations, including Lakeshore PAWS. Jacob’s Ladder in particular saw 60 volunteers come to raise money for their charity, which helps children with disabilities through occupational, speech, developmental, and physical therapies.
Candace Arvin, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Jacob’s Ladder, was excited to be participating in the run.
“We are super excited! This is actually our first year,” said Arvin. “We were looking for an event that was more family and community focused, something where our patients, family, staff, and donors could really come together, and we found this.”
Arvin wasn’t the only person who was excited to run in the event. Elizabeth Mayo, Jacob’s Ladder’s Executive Administrative Assistant, was hoping that someone from their charity could win the grand prize of $1,000, which goes to the person who raised the most money for their respective charity.
“We have a couple people who were really gunning for the $1,000 cash prize, which is exciting,” Mayo said.
Jacob’s Ladder also managed to get help from numerous community sponsors, whose names were displayed on the backs of their bright orange team t-shirts. The aim was to receive as many donations as possible, all while having an unlimited amount of fun.
“We’re excited to have this as a really fun thing that’s kid friendly, that our patients and staff could participate in, and also have some fundraising coming in, too,” Mayo explained.
Other activities at the event included a human-sized Hungry Hippos game, hula-hoop contests, and Zumba.
Laura Crohan, Clinic Coordinator and Speech Therapist at Jacob’s Ladder, was pleased to not only race alongside her patients, but to raise awareness for Jacob’s Ladder and what they do.
“Anything where Jacob’s Ladder can get its name out is really awesome,” Crohan said, “We love serving the community and doing fundraisers so that we can get as many kids therapy as possible.”
Jacob’s Ladder’s Board President and VP Chair, Aaron Robinson, even made it out to the event to support everyone racing and the local nonprofit.
“It’s a fantastic event,” Robinson said. “Anything we can do for children to help them out, it’s all worth it.”
As fun as the run was, it was far from simple. After running alongside Sunset Hill’s border with Campbell street, runners were tasked with negotiating large inflatable mountains, army-crawl through inflatable crawl spaces, and jump across large inflatable balls before sliding through a huge inflatable slip-n-slide.
While a number of organizations and people participated, the Jacob’s Ladder team members were victorious and won first, second, and third prizes for raising the most money. Second and third prizes were $250 dollars and $100, respectively. Cindy Withrow, one of the Physical Therapists at Jacob’s Ladder and the winner of the $1,000 cash prize, elected to donate the prize money to Jacob’s Ladder.
“I’m excited that I won,” said Withrow, “That’s another $1,000 the center will have.”
What was it like to run for Jacob’s Ladder?
“It was fun,” Withrow said. “I had one of my patients and his older brother show up. They came along with me and had some fun.”
That is what The Giving Games Inflatable Fun Run was all about: having a wacky time while raising money for the Valparaiso community. For more information on Jacob’s Ladder, visit their website at www.jacobskids.org.