A crowd of enthusiastic runners braved the cold early Saturday to participate in a 5K-road race and walk in Brevard to benefit a young Rosman man, Cody Orr, who is battling to recover from a disabling injury. For those that prefer to use miles to measure things, the race covered 3.1 miles.
Money is being raised to help Orr, 19, obtain a $6,000 hand cycle that will allow him to become more active, as he was before his injury.
The event and ongoing fundraising efforts were organized by Orr’s friend, Dawn Rouse of Perfect Balance Physical Therapy, located at 245 Rosman Highway in Brevard.
After the event ended, Rouse said $2,600 was raised on Saturday.
A cross-country runner, 19-year-old Josh Mower from Brevard College, took first place in 16.42.54.
Organizers gave away prize donations from Quotations, Co-ed Cinema, Dugan’s Pub, Perfect Balance Physical Therapy, Stones Jewelry and Foot Rx for various age groups and first, second, and third male and female, as well as youngest runner. First time runner Lori Holbrook came in at 44.36. Log Homes of America was one of the top sponsors and their own Gary Campbell, sales manager, came in 10th.
“What a great community of people with warm hearts and a determination to help, despite the bitter cold. I can’t wait to see Cody training for his race and riding his new hand cycle on our bike path,” Rouse said. Lydia Nemeth Odell, a local business owner, runner, and friend of Rouse, said the event was great fun. “I am sure I am right in saying Dawn was up all night worrying about today. Race directing is hard business,” she said.
A family outing four years ago took a tragic turn when Orr, a Rosman native, ran into the water and took a dive at Lake Keowee. His dive into water that was too shallow caused his head to hit the bottom and resulted in a broken neck. He was placed in a wheelchair. During his four and a half month stay at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta working to rehabilitate, he saw something that inspired him. The annual Peachtree race in Atlanta took the runners right by the center. A number of those in the event were wheelchair racers using hand cycles. Orr learned he could still be an athlete by replacing his football and baseball participation with racing.
More information about the fundraiser can be obtained by visiting Perfect Balance Physical Therapy, or going to www.perfectbalancept.com