Professor organizing run to remember his daughter

Rachael Walters

After losing their 14-month-old daughter, Reagan Ivey “Roo Bear” Turner, in November of last year, Joel Turner and his wife, Candice, wanted to keep her memory alive.

Turner, assistant professor of political science, is organizing the 5K Roo Bear Run to raise money for local charities in memory of his daughter.

“The run will provide the chance to join members of the community in celebrating the life of a wonderful little girl,” Turner said.

Turner is hosting the event in combination with the Run for the Fight this Saturday at Kereiakes Park.

Run for the Fight was established in 2009 and raises money for The Center for Courageous Kids and The Early Childhood Center.

“I think both organizations provide a wonderful service to the community,” Turner said.

This is the first year the event will combine with the Roo Bear Run.

Registration will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday with the five-mile and five-kilometer run at 8 a.m., and the one-mile run at 8:30 a.m. at Kereiakes Park. Participants are invited to walk either of these races.

Registration fees are $25 for the five-mile run, $15 for the Roo Bear 5K and $5 for the Roo Bear one-mile Run. Donations of any amount can also be made the day of the run.

“Everyone who comes out will be a winner,” Turner said, “because they will be making a difference in the lives of children who really need it.”

The Center for Courageous Kids gives medically fragile children a safe camping experience they otherwise would not have access to. Because all services are free to the campers’ families, fundraisers are essential for the center.

The Renshaw Early Childhood Center develops the learning potential of all children, disabled or not, by training educators, therapists and early childhood services.

In addition to receiving a T-shirt and goodie bag, competitors in the race will also be put into a door prize drawing for prizes donated by local businesses and organizations. Race winners will receive medals.