Message from Tom Coones

Welcome to our 18th year! Our mission for the Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin 5K Run / Walk is to honor the lives of Jared and Jayne Coones.  Jared was ten years old when he passed away after a lengthy, courageous battle with leukemia in 1998. Jayne was reunited with Jared in Heaven in 2006 after a difficult fight with breast cancer. We come together to honor their lives and create an event that celebrates family and community. We also raise funds for research and organizations that support cancer patients and their families. This journey started a year after Jared’s passing and has continued to grow.

One of the many things I love about this event is the school running teams.  Last year we had 37 elementary, middle school and high schools represented.  Each year the schools have running clubs that are led by teachers, staff and parent volunteers to help prepare the students to participate in our event.  Thanks to the incredible support from the Olathe School District , over 2,200 of our participants last year had a connection to one of the schools.  Sunnyside Elementary School led by principal David Kearney was able to provide a fitness trail for their students through a generous grant from the Sunflower Club and the Sunnyside Booster Club.  The .24 mile loop is all contained within school property and provides a safe environment for the Sunnyside SunRunners to prepare to walk and run the annual event we hold for Jared and Jayne.  We have been blessed with the participation of the students and their families in our event.  The Sunnyside Fitness Trail encourages health and fitness and creates a lasting legacy for future generations of SunRunners.

I hope you will join me and my family at this year’s event.