Nearly seven months after its originally scheduled date, the Second Annual Bales Strong 5K Fun Run/Walk will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at TPA Park in Frankfort.
All proceeds from the 5K will go to retired Frankfort Police Department officer Rob Bales, who was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in February, 2019. Organized by the Frankfort Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, the first Bales Strong 5K Fun Run/Walk on July 13 of 2019 raised approximately $2,600 for Bales.
The pandemic delayed this year’s race.
“We originally were going to have it in April, and that was obviously pushed back due to COVID,” said Zack Light, treasurer of the FCPAAA. “At first, we thought we would just push it back, that this (pandemic) can’t be that bad. But, obviously, everyone was wrong about that. We were discouraged and got to the point where we weren’t going to have it.”
When Light and others saw that the Bales family was raising money to get a special ALS wheelchair for Rob, they decided that they would go forward with this year’s race.
“That made me get back into it, and we started planning for it again this year,” Light said. “The need is ongoing. His condition is not getting any better, and there is more and more that they will need to pay for.
“His condition continues to worsen,” he added. “He can’t speak, and he has a trach. I think he has lost most of the motion of his hands. So, we want to raise some money to ease the financial burden a little bit.”
Light says that registrations for Saturday’s race are starting to pick up.
“The numbers (of registrations) were down, but they are steadily starting to come in,” he said. “I would be happy if we could reach $1,500 or close to that. We have donations starting to come in.”
Those interested in participating in the Second Annual Bales Strong 5K Fun Run/Walk may register online at www.getmeregistered.com/balesstrong5k, or they can register in-person starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the south end of the petting zoo at TPA park.
As of Monday afternoon, the forecast for Saturday in Frankfort is cloudy with a high of 65 degrees.
“The weather looks pretty nice for late November,” Light said. “Come out and have a jog or a walk and support a good cause.”
Those who cannot participate in the race but wish to donate to the fund may mail donations to Light at 600 E. Armstrong, Frankfort, IN, 46041.