I have been working behind the scenes some helping with some stuff for the Officer Daniel Ellis Memorial 5K and the response from our community has blown me away. Not only is there around 1000 participants signed up now, but there are approximately 40 businesses/organizations that have given to support the race and foundation. There will be over 100 people there that day volunteering their time to make this a memorable event. That’s not even counting the 40 or so organizations that are planning to set up tents and be part of the day.I know some skeptics would say that the businesses are only jumping on board for publicity, but from what I have seen and heard I don’t believe that to be true. From what I have seen people want to be part of something that makes them feel good about what they are doing. People want to be part of something that is going to make a positive from a negative.
Life is hard. Katie Ellis has gone through a tragedy no wife ever should. This has turned into a celebration of Katie and her strength. It would be easy fall into a depression and hide from the world when dealing with tragedy like this. Katie has agreed to use the situation and the publicity and support she has received to do something good for Madison County. The Daniel Ellis Foundation isn’t to make life easier for Katie and her family. I don’t think anyone would judge her if it was. She deserves a break, she deserves something amazing happening for her. But Katie decided the foundation should fund things and organizations that she thinks Daniel would have been supporting. This is selfless generosity in the midst of adversity.
We all have to face adversity. We all struggle to do what is right instead of what is easy. I think we all need to take a good long look at Katie Ellis and decide if that is a person we could learn something from. It’s easy to be generous when you aren’t doing it to the detriment of your own pleasure. Daniel was generous to the point of giving up his life to our community. Katie is being generous in ways that will bring her and probably 2500 of her closest friends together on a Saturday morning to run around in a parking lot while raising hopefully $100,000.
This has moved way past being a 5K. This has become a chance for people from all around to come see what generosity is. This has become a message about a bad situation being used for positive results that even the best preacher couldn’t write. I am proud to call Richmond my home. I am proud to be a small part of this event and I am extremely excited to see Katie’s face when she sees the crowds of people in a parking lot, running in a crazy pattern around buildings, singing songs, eating food, and having a good time, so that they can be part of something that is good for all the right reasons.
SEE YOU ON THE 19TH!