About 50 runners and walkers gathered around a flat screen on Saturday in the parking lot at Align for Life Chiropractic.
Organizers of the Heaven Can Wait 5K/Run walk had arranged a Skype connection with Brandon and Julie Paredes, parents of 4-year-old Nevaeh. They spoke about their daughter's courage, and their own determination to make her well. They expressed hope that she can recover from the inoperable brain tumor that threatens her life.
The runners had come to support the family. There were tears. There was laughter. And when Nevaeh's parents ended the conversation with encouraging words, there was applause for a brave family few of them knew. There was good reason to run, to have fun and celebrate life on a perfect blue and gold October day.
"This is the kind of event I like," said Jesse Grizzle who made quick work of the 5K. "In fact, when I found out it wasn't a race, that's why I showed up. These are good people who came out for a great cause, helping a family that needs it."
The event was organized by Align for Life co-owner Dr. Anthony Evans and supported by many area businesses. There was live music, prize drawings and plenty to eat and drink.
It was the kind of event that defines the Colorado Springs business and running communities. Evans said that one person made a donation of $1,000.
The Paredes family - unable to keep up with the towering health care costs - was so grateful.
"Thank you all for being there," said Brandon Paredes, who was awarded a Purple Heart after being injured while on deployment to the Middle East. "We wish we could be there. Please keep us in your prayers."