Highland News Leader

Highland holiday relay raises $6,300 for area families, All-Abilities Playground

A group of Highland friends raised more than $6,300 through an all-night marathon last month and gained attention from a national running magazine.

The friends — Ryan Dumstorff, Ryan Goodwin, Corey Knebel, Jason Shup, Jeff Weinacht, and Todd Zobrist — have been racing, training and just running for fun together for years.

This year they decided as a group they wanted to create their own run and raise money for local causes. From that idea, the Highland Holiday All-Nighter was born, a 24- hour relay at Dennis Rinderer Park Dec. 28.

The relay began at 5 p.m. and ended the next day at 4 p.m., stretching throughout the cold night. Dumstorff said it was an exhausting, very cold, experience.

The group raised money for each leg of the relay that was run and accepted flat donations. A 5k was also held at the beginning of the relay, which had about 20 participants.

The proceeds went to two area mothers, each with four children, currently battling cancer, one of whom is fighting cervical cancer for the second time. The All-Nighter raised $2,500 for both families and donated the rest to Highland’s All-Abilities Playground’s second construction phase.

Dumstorff said he was surprised with how well the run did in its first year and was even more shocked when Runner’s World, a national running magazine, reached out to do a story on the group.

Each runner ran a total of four hours and sought pledges for every mile run during the 24-hour span. The friends set a goal of $5,000, which they easily beat.

Dumstorff said with the success of this last year’s All-Nighter, he and his friends are already looking to what they can do better this year. He said they are already looking for more causes to donate toward and are hoping to grow the relay even further in 2019.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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