Two hundred turned out to chase Ciara’s light

Ciara O’Driscoll speaking at a Dravet Syndrome Foundation event.

Great days bring out the crowds – but so does a great cause. This happy combination of events spelled an excellent turnout for Chasing Ciara’s Light, a 5K/12K race and kids’ run on Sept. 9 at Monroe’s Great Hollow Lake.

The overall winner in the 5K race was 13-year-old Danny Mahoney, posting a time of 30 minutes 55 seconds. Seventy-two year old Judith Kaufman was the top female finisher, clocking in at 33 minutes one second. In total, 166 adults and kids completed the 5K race.

Fifty-year-old Eric Hoaska placed first in the 12K race, finishing in 49 minutes, 49 seconds. Finishing first among the women was 28-year-old Blair Balchunas, who finished in an hour, 10 minutes and 18 seconds. Twenty-two people completed the 12K race.

More than 200 people ran in memory of Ciara O’Driscoll. — Robert Sample photo

Plenty of children also showed up for the shorter kids’ run, and there were both adults and kids who walked in all events.

The proceeds from the event supports the Ciara’s Light Foundation, which honors Monroe’s own Ciara O’Driscoll. Earlier this year, the 12-year-old died from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy) and Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

“We are creating programs for children with special needs and life-threatening conditions,” said Lori O’Driscoll, Ciara’s mom, who organized the event.

The first such event will be at Dance Workshop on Monroe Turnpike.

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