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Annual Braveheart Run will benefit 5-year-old Melanie Clawson

April 18th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Grady Smith

LOGAN—Utah State University’s Air Force Cadets will host the 3rd Annual Braveheart Run on Saturday at 10 a.m. on the USU cross country training fields. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support 5-year-old Melanie Clawson, a Cache Valley girl who is struggling with several health issues.

Participants can register online or on the morning of the event starting at 8 a.m. at the training fields.

“This is the third year we have done the run, and each year a new child is chosen for the donation,” event coordinator Michael Swanson said.

Clawson was selected because of her pervasive developmental disorder, or PDD, a severe form of autism. PDD autism delays the development of basic skills such as the ability to socialize and interact with others.

“It is difficult for her to communicate, she knows some simple sign language but is unable to talk,” Swanson said. He also said that Clawson’s health issues require a lot of health care, and she is often sick.

According to the National Database for Autism Research, most parents don’t even realize their child have a form of autism until they are around 3.

The Braveheart Run is held to comfort families in need through social support as well as financial assistance.

Student coordinator Jeff Davis said more than 100 runners are ready registered. The entry fee for the 5K race is $15, and the fee for the 10K race is $20. Organizers also are selling raffle tickets from local businesses such as Zeppe’s, Little Caesar’s and Chick-fil-A, Davis said.

Over the past three years, the Braveheart Run has raised more than $7,000 to donate to selected families, race officials said.


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