Despite the chilly winds and misty rain on Friday, no spirits were dampened as more than 200 people dressed in bright colors and silly wigs gathered to participate in the inaugural Manayunk Fools Run.
Although the title conjures visions of a rowdy Main Street pub crawl, this 5K charity run along the Fairmount Park Towpath raised money for a cause near and dear to the hearts of local residents, Mike and Amy Fabel.
The couple was inspired to host the run after Mike Fabel’s godfather and good friend of the family, Raymond “Bear” Kodish, 60, lost his battle with lung cancer in July 2008.
Kodish, a resident of Schwenksville, served the Spring-Ford Area School District for 35 years as a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal. During his time as assistant principal, he developed the Gold Card Program to reward good students with special privileges.
“He was the type of person who was loved by everyone in the community,” Mike Fabel said.
Even before the run started, the Fabels expected they had raised $5,000 from registrants.
The proceeds will be donated to the LUNGevity Foundation to help fund lung cancer research and the Ray Kodish Gold Card Scholarship to help support the higher education of an exemplary Spring-Ford High School student.
The Fabels said they hope the Manayunk Fools Run will become an annual way to support a family or person in the community who inspired hope and laughter despite hardship.
“We wanted to have the run on a Friday in spring,” Mike said. “It was Amy’s idea to have it on April Fools’ Day to keep things fun, easygoing and optimistic.”