Splatter Dash Runners Show Their Colors

WINONA LAKE – Participants in the Joe’s Kids 5K Splatter Dash Saturday morning started off wearing white T-shirts, but by the time they got to the finish line the shirts were an additional six colors.
“It’s a powder paint run. They wear a white T-shirt, which then gets wet. There are six color stations with a different color of paint at each station – blue, green, yellow, orange, red and pink,” Joe’s Kids Executive Director Rebecca Bazzoni explained at the Winona Lake event.
The event is a fundraiser for Joe’s Kids and includes a 5K run, a 5K walk and a one-mile walk.
“Joe’s Kids is growing,” Bazzoni said. She estimated there were several hundred runners at Saturday’s event. “We’ve started putting more emphasis on raising awareness (about the organization).”
It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic in Warsaw that provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to special kids with special needs in Kosciusko County and the surrounding area. It provides care to children with a variety of diagnosis, including cerebral palsy, stroke, Down syndrome and many other genetic and developmental disorders, according to its website at www.joes-kids.org
Bazzoni said, “We’re here to serve any kid in the community with any delays or developmental concerns. We can only make it happen with the support of the community. Anyone here (at the 5K) is helping to make it possible.”
The 5K was not a competitive race, and it wasn’t timed.
“You can run or walk, and we’ve had people roll at the paint stations. It’s just fun,” she said.
At Saturday’s Splatter Dash, any kid with special needs in the community could participate for free with an adult participating. Since the focus is on them, each one got a free race T-shirt and participation medal after the race was over.
The first person across the finish line was Nicholas Bazzoni, 14, a student at Lakeview Middle School. According to Jake Furbee, who was timing his wife’s run for her, Nicholas came in at 21:55. Bazzoni said he’s been distance running for two years and participates in track and cross country.
Coming in second was his friend, Luke Howard, also 14 and a student at Lakeview, who also does track and cross country.
“I usually get second to this guy. It’s like the longer the race, the more advantage he has. The shorter the race, the more advantage I have,” Howard stated.
Jonathan Yoder, 19, Leesburg, and Andrew Lemler, 16, Bourbon, ran the 5K together in blue jeans.
“It worked,” Yoder said, adding that they just did it for the fun of it.
“He told me yesterday about it,” Lemler said.