MEDINA – Runners from throughout the northeast Ohio area lit up the night outside the Medina County Career Center Aug. 5 to raise money for an important cause. Collin Cares, a nonprofit organization that assists local families affected by cancer, held its third annual Glow with the Flow 5K run fundraiser. Everyone who participated in the race donned glow-in-the-dark bracelets while running through the track surrounded by glow-in-the-dark balloons and glow sticks.

Collin Cares was founded by Collin Kiousis, 19, his mother, Liz, and his girlfriend, Hayden Cory, 18. The foundation was created in 2014 after Collin was diagnosed with colon cancer and pseudomyxoma peritonei at the age of 17.

“We want to give back to families who are in similar situations as us,” Collin said.

The organization has made many donations to cancer research and children’s cancer hospitals since its inception, in addition to helping several families in the Medina area who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Liz explained Collin Cares has held other successful fundraisers in the past, but wanted to do something different to raise money.

“Collin and his friends thought of holding a run with glow-in-the-dark paint, black lights and glow sticks,” she recalled.

The fundraiser started with several activities inside the MCCC building. Participants had the opportunity to purchase shirts, hats and other apparel to benefit Collin Cares. Several prize packages were won in a raffle. Some visitors took time for a photo-op in a “black light” area with a glow-in-the-dark background. Many took time to have their shirts painted with special glow-in-the-dark paint to go along with their bracelets.

The races started shortly before sundown when several young children and their families took part in a fun run on a shorter trail. Afterward, Collin gave a short speech thanking all the participants before the 5K run got started. The runners ran around the MCCC parking lot and onto a nearby wooded trail before returning to the rear of the building where the race started.

Collin and Liz said they want everyone who participated to know that this event was more than just a benefit to their organization.

“It’s not just a fundraiser for us, but also something for the community to get together and have fun with,” Collin said.

Kim Croghan took first place in the female overall winners, with Riley Freeland in second place and Jessie Popka in third place. Aiman Scullion took first place in the male overall winners, with Kyle Cochran in second place and Steve Faust in third place.

Additional information on Collin Cares, including information on donating to the organization, can be found online at collincares.net or by sending an e-mail to collincares25@gmail.com.

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