PERU People get a chance to assist local families who have children in medical crisis on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the 17th Annual Run for Jon. It takes place at Forrence Orchards, on the Mannix Rd. in Peru. Registration is from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. with events starting at 5 p.m. Events include a 2.5-mile cross-country race, a 1.25-mile cross-country walk, and a Kids Fun Run. Sixty-six awards for several categories will be handed out and theres a free raffle for race participants. This is the first time that there are corporate and family team awards, and part of the 2.5 mile run will be through a cornfield.
Don and Shirley Evans conceived the Run for Jon following their son Jonathans death from cancer in 1991. Friends and other generous people had raised a considerable amount of money to assist the Evans family with their expenses as they kept a vigil at Jonathans bedside. When Jonathan died, money remained in that fund, so Don and Shirley decided to keep the fund going to assist other families in need. Reflecting back to the time he spent at his son Jonathans hospital bedside, Don Evans said, You get to know other people. Some had to quit their jobs. They were eating canned beans. Their whole life came crashing down.
Shirley Evans explained, We cant replace insurance. When kids are like that a family can only fight so many battles. She explained that a gift from the Memorial Fund may pay for transportation or a night out on the town adding, Our goal is to make life a little bit easier for these families.
The Evans hear about families in need by word of mouth or they read about a family in crisis in the paper. Gifts have been sent to families in Clinton, Franklin, and Essex Counties. The Evans said that each year the Run for Jon raises from $2,000 to $3,000, and approximately that much is given out annually.