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Raising money with a Monster of a 5K

NASHUA — Monsters, both frightening- and friendly-looking, took-off running down Concord Street, from Greeley Park, while participating in the second annual High Hopes Foundation Monster Dash 5K.

The race was the fourth of the five Gate City Series events geared at raising money for several different local charities, while getting serious and novice runners, and their families, involved in the fundraising.

With almost 150 runners of all ages, some wearing Halloween costumes while others dressed in their normal running gear, the High Hopes Foundation – a New Hampshire nonprofit based right in Nashua – raised money that will go toward families that have children who suffer from serious illnesses.

The nonprofit has been around since 1983 and have been providing the children and the families they serve with experiences to improve their outlook on their lives and current situations as they work their way through medical treatments and the daily struggles that come along with childhood illnesses.

“We are a New Hampshire nonprofit that helps chronically and seriously ill children with life enhancing experiences,” said the nonprofit’s Director of Community Engagement, Debbie Colburn.

“That can be anything from a trip to Give Kids the World Village (a nonprofit resort park in Florida that caters to families who have children with chronic illnesses) to therapeutic bike equipment,” she added, “and then we also offer them an experience where we have all the past, previous and potentially future families of High Hopes have a day off once every quarter just to get out and network and be themselves.”

While some serious runners made their way through the course, others walked or jogged while they showed off their Halloween spirit.

Colburn said she was excited by the turnout and the great support the organization receives from the community even commenting on the costumes participants were wearing.

“We’ve got great supporters, we couldn’t do what we do for the kids without help with funding like this,” she said.

“It’s just a fun family event,” Colburn added. “The Monster Dash gets the kids out; everyone wearing costumes. It’s just a fun family walk/race event and we do a costume contest. The costumes were awesome. I’ve got so many pictures, I can’t wait to look at them after.”

David Audet, who finished first in last year’s inaugural race, took the first-place finish once again with a time of 19:16. He was followed by Steve Keisling in the men’s category who finished with a time of 20:57.

For the women’s grouping, Jess Mullaney finished at 23:43 while donned in a skeleton costume. She was followed by last year’s female winner, Shannon O’Brien, who finished with a time of 24:22.

The first kid to cross the finish line was Evan Jean, who was able to finish in the top five. He had a time of 21:47.

The Gate City Series will conclude with the 19th annual Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and Kids Fun Run, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29 at the Village Green at 11 Church St. in Amherst.

Mathew Plamondon can be reached at 594-1244 or mplamondon@nashuatelegraph.com, @telegraph_MatP.