Early morning runners and walkers for Hope Center’s 3rd Annual 1K/5K Walk-a-thon were met with crisp clear weather Saturday morning September 7th at Stapleton Central Park.

Registration began early at 7:30 a.m. with a start time around 8 a.m. President/CEO Gerie Grimes welcomed some 100 runners and walkers, including young families and children to the event benefiting HOPE Center’s Vocational and Early Childhood Education programs. Established in 1962, the community-based agency has a daily enrollment of more than 200 children and 35 adults with developmental disabilities/delays and requiring specialized educational or vocational services.
Mrs. Grimes has served for more than three decades with the organization and seven years as President/CEO. She thanked the crowd for their support and recognized many sponsors and donors including premier participants Harvest Meat Company managers Matt Ryan and John Rosasco.

Apparently 60 plus is the new 40 because runner Jim Martin seemed rather relaxed after the 5K around the park. Meanwhile, runner Ayelen Verdié and her competitive siblings, Claudia and Marvin, also participated in the event.

Chief Operations Officer Cassandra Johnson and Development Director Bruce Duran¬†and Business Manager Vanessa Nguyen helped coordinate the event, while Grimes’ sisters Deloris, Lorraine and Joanne Butler participated and showed their support throughout the day. A dozen vendor booths were represented by the Colorado Rapids, Denver Zoo, Denver Health, Donut Angel, Menchi’s Frozen Yogurt, On the Move Studio, Sam’s Club, the Zone Healing Center, Denver Preschool Program, Kids Choice Dental, Stapleton Fire Department, and Redline. The Colorado Rapids soccer team mascot–Edson the Eagle–entertained the young and old alike with his quiet but expressive antics.

For more information about HOPE Center visit www.hopecenterinc.org