Memorial Day 5K to raise funds for Lawrence families seeking stable housing

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Community members on Monday will aim for a “home run” in support of Lawrence and Douglas County families experiencing housing crises.

The 5K Home Run annual event will serve as a fundraiser to benefit Family Promise of Lawrence, a local agency that works with families to help them find stability. Participants will do a 5K, or 3.1 mile, run, according to a Family Promise news release. 

“The past few years have brought a pandemic followed by widespread inflation, making it hard for hundreds of local families to stay afloat,” Dana Ortiz, executive director of Family Promise of Lawrence, said in the news release. “Fundraisers like the 5K Home Run help us continue to provide services from homelessness prevention to stabilization support after families graduate into permanent housing.”

Individuals and teams of all ages are encouraged to join the Memorial Day fun. Strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome.

The largest youth team — made of participants ages 18 and under — will win free meals from Hawaiian Bros, and the top fundraisers earn Lawrence Beer Co. gift cards, the news release said. Medals will be awarded to the top in-person male and female overall and master’s (40-plus) finishers as well as the top three male and female finishers in the following age categories: 10 and under, 11-15, 16-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70 and 70+. 

Virtual participants can submit their race photos to be recognized in a variety of creative categories.

In addition to the run itself, families can also enjoy free activities for kids, including a fun run, bounce houses, face painting, giant bubbles, a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical fire truck and more, according to the release. Sarah Plake, KSHB-TV reporter and anchor, will emcee the event. 

Family Promise on Friday announced that KJ Adams Jr., KU men’s basketball forward, will be present to meet with fans and sign autographs.

The 5K Home Run is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29) at South Park in downtown Lawrence. The event will last through 10 a.m.

Those interested in participating either virtually or in person can still register to join up until the run begins on Monday. Both options cost $30 for individuals, $25 per person for teams of four or more people, or $35 per person if registering on race day. Virtual participants can complete their 5K at their leisure and track their mileage now through Monday.

For more information, or to register to participate in or volunteer for the race, visit

Organizers will be stationed from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 28 at Ad Astra Running Co., 734 Massachusetts St. in downtown Lawrence for participants to come pick up their packets and check in, according to the website. People can also register there for the run if they have not yet.

Visit to learn more about the agency’s work.

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