The weather in St. Marys was cool, damp and gloomy on Saturday morning; however, this did little to dampen the spirits of around 500 individuals who participated in the inaugural Bunny Hop 5K run/walk. The event raised over $10,000 to benefit the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.
"[The amount of participants] was probably over double what we were expecting," said Taylor Frank, who coordinated the event along with her sister, Carly, and Rachael, Michael and Daniel Paladino, in honor of their mothers.
The event was held in memory of the late Becky Frank, Sue Ellen Paladino and Mag Pauline, all of whom succumbed to brain aneurysms.
Even though it rained fairly steadily throughout the previous night and early that morning, the group noted that the rain had stopped just prior to the start of the walking portion of the event, which got underway at 9 a.m. The run began an hour later at 10 a.m.
"It was so much fun. Everybody was so nice about it, with all the food they brought and the water, everything," Michael Paladino said.
The Franks and Paladinos explained that people had shown up that morning ready to help, bringing cases of bottled water and snacks for event participants.
"It's crazy how many people cared about our moms," Taylor Frank said.
"It was an awesome turnout. We got to meet people who went through the same thing we had, and that's something that's not very common," Carly Frank said.
The group hopes to make the Bunny Hop an annual event.