BY KATHRYN BOCK
Family, friends, and supporters stood at the starting line anxiously waiting for the horn to blow with one thought in mind “Run for Kelly.” Kelly Golat was described by her loved ones as a writer, a runner, a traveler, a party-planner, and a connoisseur of fun.
However, at the age of twenty-three, Golat was diagnosed with melanoma. Melanoma is a tumor of melanin-forming cells, typically a malignant tumor associated with skin cancer.
On October 5, 2013, the 11th annual Kelly Golat Memorial Run was held at Notre Dame High School in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Kelly’s family and friends host the Kelly Golat Run as a remembrance of the wonderful person she was as well as her struggle with melanoma.
Participants were invited to run in a 5k run/walk or a one-mile family fun race. Through the race, money is raised for melanoma research, something that Golat felt strongly about after she herself had been diagnosed with melanoma.
The family is also able to present a scholarship to a deserving student of Notre Dame High School thanks to the turnout of the run.
After registering, all participants were welcome to get a free melanoma screening by Dr. Wen Jen Hwu and her associates from MD Anderson Cancer Center of Texas.
Dr. Hwu was Golat’s doctor and returns to East Stroudsburg every year to offer her services to participants of the Kelly Golat Run. The family and friends of Golat are happy to say they can offer participants the free scans and hopefully detect and prevent melanoma.
“It was truly amazing to see the turnout,” said ESU Senior Karianna Simpkins.
Karianna is also the President of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) here at ESU. Last Spring PRSSA took on the Kelly Golat Run as one of their clients. The Run for Kelly team expressed to PRSSA that they wanted the event to grow.
Through several meetings and emailing PRSSA executive board had the privilege of working with the Run for Kelly team.
Getting the team set up with a twitter account, an Instagram account, revamping their Facebook page, and helping spread the word through flyers was just some of the work PRSSA helped with.
“It was a great day,” said Breanne Scharpnick, ESU Senior and PRSSA historian. “I’m truly grateful we got to be a part of it.” Members of PRSSA were invited by Golat’s family to attend the event held this past weekend. PRSSA members assisted the team in setting up for the event, directing runners on the course, and helping break down tables and clean up at the end of the event.
“Having the Golat family reach out to us helped us further our knowledge in PR field as a whole and that is something we were very excited about,” said Simpkins. “But it was also exciting to know that we are helping a larger cause while doing so. The experience was very rewarding.”
After the race all who attended were invited to enjoy a barbeque. The Kelly Run team expressed they were thankful for all who attended, their sponsors, and the success of the day’s event.
Participants are invited to check www.run4kelly.com to see the results and photos from Saturday’s race.
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