More than 1,600 racers gathered for the annual THE PLAYERS Donna 5K Saturday May 7 at TPC Sawgrass, where participants were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament preparations.
Runners and walkers were welcome to join the cause, starting near the island green of the Stadium Course’s 17th hole and following a cart path through the nine back holes to raise funds for breast cancer research and treatment. Among the top finishers were male racers Cameron Klug, Wesley Twiggs and Jeff Provenzano, who finished first, second and third, respectively; and Carley Glasser, Erica Reinsel and Jennifer Leffew who finished first, second and third, respectively, among female racers.
As one of several events held on behalf of The Donna Foundation founded by Donna Deegan, the 5K run at THE PLAYERS is part of year-long efforts focused on the foundation’s annual 26.2 with Donna national marathon. According to spokeswoman Lyndsay Rossman, the race serves as an extension to The Donna Foundation’s ongoing fight to end breast cancer.
“With the 5K it’s really an extension of 26.2’s effort,” she said. “It’s really about driving awareness for breast cancer research and having a good time while doing it.”
Now in its ninth year, THE PLAYERS Donna 5K’s success can be measured by its history and the impact those funds and awareness have had on breast cancer research on the First Coast. It’s Deegan’s hope to continue to spread that effect.
“Since we started nine years ago, TPC has helped us raise more than $300,000 that’s helped thousands of families,” Deegan said. “If you look at more than 10,000 people with critical needs, it speaks for itself. Hundreds of thousands of people have been helped by the foundation and we can continue to help them with events like this.”
It’s a cause that many were happy to join, whether they ran for fun, for awareness or for loved ones, both survivors and those who’d lost their battle with the disease. All came together with one goal in mind: to help end breast cancer.
“The atmosphere is fun, but the best part is seeing everyone united for one cause,” said volunteer Rachel Gupton.
And for Deegan, that united front is worth more than the sum of its parts.
“I hope everyone has a great time,” Deegan said, “but I also hope they feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.”
To learn more about The Donna Foundation and future fundraising events for breast cancer, visit www.breastcancermarathon.com.