Grace Race 5K Run/Walk benefits Perry County residents

Cody Graves Originally Published April 21, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated April 19, 2013 at 10:58 a.m.
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Earlier this year, 10-year-old Maddie Grace Windle of Perryville was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is a cancerous growth of the kidneys. Money raised at the first Fourche River Days Grace Race will go to help her family with expenses.

A new event at this year’s Fourche River Days festival is on track to raise money for Perry County residents in need.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, the first ever Grace Race 5K Run/Walk will kick off. The event’s organizers hope the event will become a part of Fourche River Days tradition.

“We want all the residents of Perry County to feel like they’re at home, and we decided this is the way the members of the community can give back,” said Joshua Dewees, event organizer.

Dewees and his friend Nathan Blake decided to start the race to build community spirit while helping local residents, he said.

Money raised at this year’s race will benefit Maddie Grace Windle and Martha Zulpo.

Maddie, 10, was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is a cancerous growth of the kidneys that typically occurs in children.

“We really took to Maddie when we met her,” Dewees said.

Zulpo is Blake’s mother-in-law and was diagnosed with Stage-3 colon

cancer last year. She recently completed her final chemotherapy treatment and is in remission.

“The doctor say there’s a 50 percent chance that it could come back because [the cancer] was in an advanced stage,” said Shannon Blake, her daughter.

Nathan said he hopes between 150 and 200 people will come out to the race. Registration for the event will be $20 for early registration and $25 the day of the race. Each person who finishes the race will get a Grace Race T-shirt and a medal.

After the race, there will be a spaghetti dinner and silent auction at Perryville United Methodist Church. Race participants will be given free admission and non-racers can give a donation.

Dewees added that benefactors for future Grace Races will be chosen through an application process.

For more information on Grace Race or to register, visit or call Joshua Dewees at 479-477-2842.

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