Race For Wandell preparing for fifth year: Sees ‘record’ in sponsorship, community outreach

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Support just seems to grow by leaps and bounds each year for Dr. Josh Wandell and his message of positivity during his bout with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
2017 is no different compared to previous years as organizers with Team Wandell are putting the final touches on the upcoming fifth annual Race For Wandell, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, at East Side Elementary.
“It’s always an exciting time when it comes to this race,” said Kelly Geagley, Josh’s uncle and Team Wandell member. “The support for this year’s race has been overwhelming.”
Increased support can be easily traced just to shirt sponsors alone. The mainstay of the event over the years has been the specially-designed shirt, which is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks. Geagley added 41 sponsors jumped on board to sponsor the shirt, while an additional 21 are taking part in the event as in-kind donors.
“That’s definitely a record,” Geagley said about the total of sponsors. “It’s been incredible. Each year has been a learning process for us but these sponsors make this event possible.”
Geagley added the support has been a welcomed sight. Wandell’s went on to add it’s been a little rough for the former East Side Elementary principal due to the ALS. Wandell is able to go out but has a 24-hour nurse attendance.
“Josh has been such a fighter,” he said. “No matter what happens, he stays positive through everything. Seeing the way people respond, he always says ‘we’re blessed’ and we truly love this area. Everyone has been so incredible. It’s the positive message that people seem to enjoy.”
Geagley went on to add that registration for the event will go live once the shirt is released to the public. Individuals can stay up to date on the registration by visiting the Team Wandell website of Team Wandell’s Facebook page online.
Race For Wandell received official certification last year as the state’s only certified 3K race. The added popularity led to the high numbers last year and the attendance is already expected to be one of the, if not the, largest in the event’s five-year span.
“The race is always popular, but the fun run/walk also goes over very well,” Geagley said. “Seeing everyone come out for this kind of cause, it really does restore your faith. We have such a great community.”
Race For Wandell is the Team Wandell’s primary fundraiser to assist with medical costs by the family.
“The event is a fundraiser for medical costs but it also does so much more,” Geagley said. “The awareness that’s been raised for ALS. There’s been so many people asking and learning more about it.”
This year’s race also falls after East Side Elementary dedicated the Early Learning Center to Wandell.

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