ANNA — The man who completed the feat of running 46 miles for childhood cancer awareness last September got doctors orders to not run that far again.
Michael Manger, of Anna, instead will be putting on the inaugural Ohio Rumble Against Childhood Cancer and Running for the 46 5K Race on Saturday, Aug. 13.
“It was a one-time deal, but I think if a child with cancer asked me to do it again, or something like that again, would I do it? Most definitely,” he said. “But that’s why we came up with the 5K idea.”
The 5K starts at 8 a.m. with registration starting at 7 a.m. at the Anna American Legion, 14900 County Road 25A. You can sign up ahead of time as well at www.cantstoprunningco.com.
Starting after the race at the legion at 11 a.m. and running until 11 p.m. will be the Rumble Against Childhood Cancer event. These events are put on in several states, but this will be the first ever put on in Ohio.
The Rumble organization just got their logo trademarked, and now they’re working on obtaining their 501c3 status. Once it is obtained, the money from future events can stay in the local community.
“We still want to support research companies, but then again, families need help. My outlook here in Ohio is to start other Rumble events in the state and have the money stay there and help families,” Manger said.
The money from the event in August will go to CureSearch, the same research group the money was given to last year.
Last year the goal was to raise $50,000, in total they raised $11,000.
“Every-time I set a goal I set it so big it don’t even come close. … Every year we’ve been beating the previous year’s total though, so this year I hope to raise $15,000,” Manger said. “Every little dollar helps. So if we keep beating every year’s total, we’re doing something right.”
Manger and the volunteers who help him have already been raising money this year for the event by holding gun raffles and benefit nights at restaurants like the one held recently at the Skyline Chili in Troy.
The day of the event they will be raffling off an AR-15 Rifle that Tactical Solutions gave them a good deal on, he said.
“They’re going to be on site that day and do a bunch of other raffles, and we make all the profit off that,” Manger said. “They are a big supporter for us. They don’t care how we get the money for these kids.”
He said he’s been catching a lot of flack about the guns, but he said they’re doing stuff by the book.
“We won’t just give the gun out to anybody. We do the background checks, and they have to be over 21. If they fail the background check, ‘sorry, they don’t get the gun.’ It’s that simple. We’ve got to protect us, Tactical Solutions, and the community. We don’t just want to give guns out to anybody” Manger said.
Raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each or three for $25. Manger said they’re going quick though, so if you’d like to purchase one, contact him now.
His volunteers and family will be helping him out a lot on the day of the event.
“My daughter’s taking care of the cash bar and all the bartenders. Some of the local fire departments are going to take care of parking for me. Some people have just been stepping up and helping out like that,” he said.
There will be about 30 craft and merchandise vendors, several food trucks, including Pizza Hut which is sending some pizza, local boy scouts who will be selling hamburgers, and plenty of games, inflatables, a photo booth, a clown, a pirate and live music.
“We’re trying to make it a family event where the adults can bring their children, and they can just let them go, have fun, and don’t worry about them,” he said.
“Last year all I had to focus on was my running. This year I am overseeing everything,” Manger said. “It’s probably going to be that way until we have the foundation set, then I’ll probably be doing a lot of traveling.”
He often travels to other childhood cancer events in places like Mississippi and Oklahoma, and to fundraisers and other events around the area.
Manger’s journey to this point started with a Facebook comment back in the summer of 2011. He was part of a motorcycle ministry and members of that group knew other cyclists in Knoxville, Tennessee, who were organizing a benefit for an 11-year-old with cancer.
The girl needed regular, massive blood transfusions. After talking to the girls mother on Facebook, he decided to transfer some of the credits he’d collected for blood donations here.
He couldn’t though because the local blood banks no longer make transfers, but he couldn’t stop thinking about little Katelyn Norman of LaFollette, Tennessee. He wanted to do something for her family, but he had no idea what to do.
“God put it on my heart, ‘You have to go down there,’” he said. So he did. With a friend, they rode their motorcycles through 28-degree winter weather for nine hours to meet Katelyn.
“She never complained one bit,” he said. “She always had a smile on her face.”
Katelyn died on Good Friday in 2013. Michael questioned in his prayers why he had come to know her and decided it was the catalyst to become an advocate for childhood cancer awareness.
He retired the bike he met Katelyn on and dedicated it to the kids. He takes it to the events around the country to raise awareness, and it will be at the event in August. Last year during his run, mile 46 was dedicated to Katelyn.
Manger said he’s hoping Katelyn’s mother will be able to come up to the event this year.
More details about the day can be found on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/659721604167537/
The contact for the 5K is Josh Wagner, he can be reached at 937-710-3112. Manger can be reached at 927-726-9309 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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