Noah’s Gift Grants Three Wishes at Annual Run-Walk-Skate 5K Event

By: Whitley P. Rives

December 18, 2012

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. -- Aspiring medical student Sarah Davis and pharmacy student Caroline Morris, two of the three young people whose wishes were granted at the Noah’s Gift Memorial 5K Run-Walk-Skate on Oct. 13, turned out for the RiverKings tribute this past Saturday to the work of the Noah’s Gift Endowment and the boy who inspired it all.

The Noah’s Gift Night at the RiverKings hockey game not only raised more than $6,250 for the Noah’s Gift Endowment at the Community Foundation, it showcased activities from the race, from male overall race winner Michael Herring dropping the puck to the Jumbo-Tron photos of the winners of the DeSoto Arts Council kids’ art contest that was held at the finish line.

Although grant winner Sherman Kimbo Lovett could not be attendance (because he was fulfilling his dream of playing juniors hockey on the West Coast), Davis and Morris were on hand and excited to be part of the festivities.

Davis, 18, applied for a grant to help her update her modeling portfolio, with which she hopes to improve her self-confidence and get more jobs. A biomedical engineering/pre-med double major, Davis plans to become a pediatric oncologist; she hopes to apply any money she makes from modeling toward payment for medical school.

Davis, who knew 16-year-old Noah Costa personally prior to his death in November of 2010, said the grant holds extra-special meaning for her.

“Knowing that something in memory of Noah is being provided to help me help others is amazing,” Davis said. “He was amazing. He was my protector growing up, and it means a lot to me that this grant will help me be the ‘protector’ of children with cancer. And by using this grant to help others, his name is being carried on through everything I and the other recipients do. “

The NG5K post-race party also featured other fun awards, a “raffle” donation drawing, contests and recognition.

Jen Hanlon won the award for Most Team Members Recruited sponsored by The Landers Center with 12 members from the Fillin’ Station Grille. Carol Ayers came in first for Most Money Raised by an Individual sponsored by The Landers Center with $1,480.

Bob and Shirley Seymour sponsored the Most Money Raised by a Team award, which was taken by Team Canada captained by Sue Shedden. Shedden’s friends and family not only assisted her in raising $1,275, but five of them also joined her in Hernando to run, walk and skate the race.

The Seymours also sponsored the Best Dressed Individual award, won by Carol Ayers, and the Best Dressed Team, whose honors the Fillin’ Station Grille took home.

Oldest Racer was Meredith Walker at 83, and Youngest Racer went to Nathan DeGray, age 7.

The Perseverance Award, a special award reserved for the last runners to cross the finish line, was sponsored by Quality DPM. The 2012 Perseverance Award was awarded to Jennifer Cavataio Amos. In the inaugural race last year, Quality DPM sponsored the entries of several of their employees, including that of Donna Blackfox, who claimed the award after walking her first 5K race ever in memory of her late husband.

The Desoto Arts Council sponsored an Art Contest for children ages 7-12. Magnolia Heights student Keen Stinson, age 9, and Pleasant Hill Elementary School student Sarah Landmesser, age 7, each won a scholarship to attend the DeSoto Arts Council’s Kids Creative Arts Camp.

“Noah’s Gift 5K reflects a caring community,” said Tom Pittman, President of The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, which houses the Noah’s Gift Endowment Fund. “It was wonderful to see so many young volunteers as well as participants, united in their effort to provide extraordinary experiences for deserving young people. The Community Foundation is proud to hold this Endowment in memory of Noah and to add 25 percent to the total raised through this charitable event.”

Noah’s Gift is currently accepting grant requests to be awarded next fall. For more information on the grant application or upcoming Noah’s Gift events or the 2013 Run-Walk-Skate 5K, please contact The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi at 662.449.5002 or assistant@cfnm.org.

Posted by Whitley Rives at 4:28 PM

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