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June 17, 2013 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
The Debbie Green Memorial 5K has mushroomed into a running extravaganza. Two factors have led the race from the streets of Benwood to the big stage of downtown Wheeling. First, it is for a worthwhile cause. It is dubbed the "Race for a Reason." The race provides financial help to Ohio Valley children battling leukemia and their families. The Ohio Valley is famous for embracing such causes. That was again spotlighted this weekend when the Belmont County Relay for Life raised some $90,000. The second reason for the race's great success is Ron Green. Ron is the race director and brother of Debbie, who died at an early age from leukemia. Ron is passionate and relentless is his quest to promote the event. His tenacity has resulted in 25 families benefitting during the race's 15-year lifespan. Green's tireless efforts have swelled the field to more than 1,000 participants. That is a far cry from the race's humble beginnings. He has turned the 5K race into two-day entertainment spectacle. Festivities get under way on Friday night with the Green Mile, which is being held in memory of Kristopher Klubert of Yorkville, who died tragically earlier this year; Tom "Dino" Smith of Benwood and Randy Stephens of Wheeling. I commend Green for such a nice touch. Pasta and musical entertainment will abound the balance of the two days. The race has been moved back two weeks to Aug. 17. The change may yield an even larger turnout than years' past. I admire Ron Green's total commitment for the race, his sister and the help he has delivered to those in need. He has few peers as a crusader of causes.
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