By Kevin Kelley
Emily’s Rainbow Run, the popular road race originally scheduled for Sunday at Westlake High School, has been canceled, organizers said.
Named after Emily Lewis, a Westlake resident who passed away in 2009 at age 12 from a form of childhood kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumor, the race raised money for pediatric cancer research at University Hospitals’ Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Debbie Lewis, Emily’s mother, told West Life the decision to postpone the four-mile race was made in February. Debbie said she and her husband, John, are relocating to Connecticut. In May, John will take a job as CEO of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, a network of camps for children with serious illnesses and their families that was founded by actor Paul Newman in 1988.
John Lewis recently served as chairman of the board of Flying Horse Farms, the SeriousFun Camp in Mount Gilead, Ohio, and was a board member for SeriousFun Children’s Network. Emily had been a camper at the SeriousFun Camp in Connecticut.
Preparations for their relocation made it difficult to operate the race, Debbie said.
She acknowledged the move from Westlake leaves the future of the race up in the air.
“Is there a way for us to keep it going? I don’t know,” she told West Life.
Several hundred persons participated in the annual event, which began in 2009 and included a two-mile run/walk and kids’ run.
Businesses exist that conduct road races, but Debbie said no decision has been made on whether to utilize such a firm. The fund named after Emily that supports pediatric cancer research will remain in place, she added.
The Westlake Kiwanis pancake breakfast traditionally held in conjunction with Emily’s Run will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday in the rotunda of Westlake High School. Tickets cost $6 and include pancakes, sausages, juice and coffee. Proceeds benefits the Kiwanis’ scholarship programs.