A 4-year-old youngster understands what’s at stake this weekend.
Trent Bozell has been telling his parents, Kevin and Megan Bozell, that he must “get in shape” for Saturday’s children’s fun run event, dedicated to the memory of his late brother.
The Fourth Annual Reid’s Race is intended to help fight Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other forms of infant loss.
The run, which takes place at Ceraland Park, has a new theme, “Running For Their Lives.”
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Megan Bozell founded the event shortly after her 5-month-old son Reid died from SIDS on Sept. 19, 2011.
Proceeds will again go to the Connecticut-based CJ First Candle, a national nonprofit organization supporting research to end SIDS, miscarriage, stillbirth and related situations.
Reid’s Race has raised $34,000 since its beginning in 2014. Already, this year’s event boasts $3,500 in sponsorships and has seen nearly 200 people register, according to organizers.
A 5K run/walk event for adults is the centerpiece. But it is surrounded by a raffle for everything from courtside Indiana Pacers tickets to pool party packages. The event also features children’s games, face painting, children’s tattoos, bounce houses and other activities.
“If people aren’t interested in running or walking, I want them to know that there’s so much more to do,” Megan Bozell said.
She also knows there is much more work to do to bring a measure of peace to parents who have lost babies.
About a year ago, Megan Bozell received a letter from a local woman who lost an infant to SIDS decades ago. She told the Bozells that hearing how they have shared their story and emotional struggle, including lanching an infant-loss support group, helped her release pain and shame she had hidden for decades.
“Hearing these stories is enough to give you goose bumps — and to realize that there can be something positive in all this madness,” she said. “And my 4-year-old is now way more in tune with heaven and empathy for others than a lot of full-grown adults are.”
Dr. Scott Taylor, the pediatrician who treated Reid Bozell as a newborn, will participate in the event for the first time this weekend, although he has been a sponsor and race supporter since the beginning.
He also affirms the Bozells’ initiative to help parents who have lost a child keep alive the little one’s memory.
“Certainly, avoiding the subject isn’t very healthy,” said Taylor, who has seen other parents confront SIDS, miscarriages and related traumas. “And something like this lets kids know that life sometimes includes loss.”
What: Fourth Annual Reid’s Race fundraiser to help a national organization called CJ First Candle fight Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, stillbirths, miscarriage and other infant loss.
When: Saturday. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and activities begin at 9 a.m. Conducted rain or shine.
Where: Ceraland Park, 3989 S. County Road 525E in Columbus.
Cost: $30 for the 5K event and $5 for a 200-meter fun run for youngsters ages 6 and younger. $10 for a half-mile run for youngsters ages 7 and older.
General donations to the cause also are being accepted.
Forecast: Sunny with temperatures in the 50s.
Registration and information: Facebook page for Reid’s Race. Also, Megan Bozell at 812-343-7884.