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 Cassie's Cause Raises $3,900

September 24, 2008 - Gene Black of Camden, Ohio, defied the heat, humidity, and father time on Saturday, September 13 to capture the adult men’s title and a second place overall finish at the inaugural Cassie’s Cause 5K Walk-Run.

The 66-year-old racing veteran set a quick pace and led throughout two-thirds of the challenging course before being chased down by the youth champion and overall winner, Brooks Manning of Greenfield. Brooks Manning took the lead during the final mile of the race and never looked back en route to victory. Manning is currently a sophomore at Greenfield Central High School and is the son of Ed Manning and Jennifer Rodgers. Jennifer Manning, sister of the overall winner, paced the adult women’s division. She jumped out to an early lead and was never challenged. Jennifer is a 2007 Greenfield Central High School graduate and is currently enlisted in the U.S. Army.

The 2008 Walk-Run began with a moving ceremony to honor the upcoming birthday of Cassandra Jayne Taylor, for whom Cassie’s Cause is named. Twenty balloons were released and sailed skyward, while the participants made their way through the course. The event culminated with an award ceremony as trophies were presented to the men’s, women’s and youth winners.

Cassie’s Cause originated in 2007 after a tragic heroin overdose cut short Taylor’s young life. Cassie’s Cause was developed to help educate children and adolescents about the dangers of substance use and to increase awareness of available treatment programs for those who are currently dealing with a substance related problem. The primary mission of Cassie’s Cause is to help prevent other families from experiencing the loss of a loved one to substance abuse.

The inaugural Cassie’s Cause 5K Walk-Run was a day of both sorrow for what has been lost and celebration for the capacity of the human spirit. The event served as a shining example of the power of love, friendship, and community. Combined, the 2008 Cassie’s Cause 5K Walk-Run and charity raffle raised over $3900 for drug education, treatment, and prevention programs for children in East Central Indiana. In addition, hundreds of pamphlets containing information about substance abuse treatment for people of all ages were distributed. When a community works together to turn our darkest hour of despair into a shining light of hope, we all win.


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