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Run for HOPE': For you, for your loved ones

Last week my fiance Tim and I went for an exhilarating jog in the rain and thunder and lightning. I splashed through and hopped over puddles, got soaked and loved it. There's nothing like allowing the rain to work its magic instead of fighting it off with a bulky umbrella. For us, the experience released joy and laughter; it freed us to let go of silly cares and just be in the moment.

Spring is full of hope; a fresh start. Everything is new again. Trees bud, flowers bloom, birds sing and the days are becoming longer and warmer. The transition from winter to spring always turns my mind to themes of hope and renewal.

A top facilitator of this process in Syracuse is the community organization, HOPE for Bereaved. Since the mid 1970s, HOPE has been dedicated to helping people in their journey from grief to hope through support groups and counseling free of charge. Founder Therese Schoeneck, whose personal loss inspired her to establish HOPE, is known to say, "you may never be the same, but you can be a new you."

Next month, HOPE is launching its first 8k run and one-mile walk in the village of Marcellus. Since "Run for HOPE" is about lifting spirits, remembering loved ones and discovering you again, participants are encouraged to remember their loved ones by bringing a photo, special memento or note to post on a memory board. Participants are also encouraged to meditate on their own journey, recognizing what they've been through and how far they've come. Those just beginning the journey can make this their first step toward a future filled with hope and happiness again.

Run for HOPE will take place on Sunday June 5. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Marcellus High School; the 8k run (which is a rigorous course) begins at 10 a.m. The one-mile Remembrance Walk will begin at 10:15 a.m. Create a team in memory of a classmate, co-worker, friend or family member.

For more information or to register, go to GetEntered.com or download a registration form at HopeForBereaved.com. You can also download a form on FleetFeet.com. All proceeds will benefit HOPE. The race will take place rain or shine - this is your chance to be in the moment.

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