Giving Thanks and Counting Down to Heroes of Play 5K

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Blog, Featured Stories |

By Jamila Larson, Executive Director

In just two weeks, superheroes will descend on Anacostia Park to run or walk in Playtime’s Annual Heroes of Play 5K on Saturday, Oct. 14. We anticipate a fun day with grandparents, parents, volunteers, kids and even pets walking or strolling alongside more serious athletes. To make it super playful, we’re encouraging all participants to dress in the costume of their favorite real or fictional superhero!

I’ve been moved by the comments and reasons more than 120 participants have given for signing up to run or walk. What our volunteers and our donors give to Playtime is incredible. For example:

  • “I want to help the children who are homeless in Washington, D.C. They may not have a home but that doesn’t mean that they still don’t like to have fun,” said Isiah Britt, age 9, who raised money and awareness for the children of Flint, Michigan as well as $10,000 for Playtime last year.
  • “This is the first 5K I’m doing, and while I hate running more than most things in this world, I’m doing this because the cause is close to my heart,” wrote Emma Roller, a Teen Program volunteer at D.C. General. “It’s so important to give these kids a dedicated space to be themselves and not have to worry about outside responsibilities like school or family for a couple of hours.”
  • “I’ve been volunteering with Playtime for seven years now, and each child I’ve met has touched my heart,” said Robin Ngo, who volunteers in the Playtime room at D.C. General.
  • “Through going every week for over a year,” wrote Cara Baldari, who volunteers at DASH, “I have been lucky to get to know many of the children, and they are incredibly smart, funny, and resilient. They inspire me every week!”

Thank you to all our volunteers who do so much to give children the gift of play.

We are grateful, too, to our sponsors who have provided prizes and event support: Radio One sister stations WMMJ 102.3FM, WKYS 93.9FM and WPRS 104.1FM; Keller Williams Capital Properties; Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman; Business Benefits Group; JBG Smith; Potomac River Running; Yoga Heights; Athleta Georgetown; The Newseum; and Right Proper Brewing.

We’re excited to have WUSA9’s Lesli Foster as our Grand Marshal, who will present prizes for individual and team fundraising efforts.

There’s still time to register! Registration includes a T-shirt, and every penny raised goes to fund programming – including field trips, healthy snacks and supplies. Raise at least $100, and you’ll get the $35 registration fee refunded. So, come on out and be a part of this fun, yet deeply meaningful, event. Children and youth experiencing homelessness directly benefit from your participation, whether it’s running, walking, or simply making a gift in honor of a Hero of Play already registered.

Thank you for being a hero of play by supporting our 5K!

Jamila ran Playtime as a volunteer since it was founded in 2003 and assumed the role as first full-time Executive Director in 2009. In 2012, she was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine for her leadership of Playtime.