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Student group supports Children's Miracle Network with Saturday's Color Run

April 18, 2013 : Liberty University News Service

A photo taken at a Color Run event similar to the one taking place in Lynchburg Saturday (photo courtesy of colorrun.com/gallery).

Life4U, a Liberty University student-run organization, is bringing the nation’s largest running event series to Lynchburg on Saturday.

Participants in the area’s first Color Run will provide moving canvases for spectator powder paint artists during the fundraising 5K run, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Peaks View Park.

The event, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network, is an untimed race in which runners, dressed in white, are doused in different colors at each kilometer mark, concluding with a post-5K Color Festival.

Life4U already has raised more than $10,000. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of equipment needed to airlift premature babies and sick and injured infants to Lynchburg General Hospital.

Life4U promotes the Children’s Miracle Network by planning events that unite the student body with families and children throughout the community.

“Our mission is to help care for the terminally sick and injured children with financial and emotional support, as well as sharing Christ’s love with them every moment that He gives them life,” said Liberty sophomore Ross Cleveland, Life4U’s founder and president.

Ross Cleveland (left), Life4U founder and president, and Ian Olsen, Life4U vice president of public affairs

Cleveland developed a passion for terminally ill patients while still in high school, when he began raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund, a nonprofit organization that aids children battling cancer both financially and emotionally. He rallied a group of his friends his first year at Liberty and began Life4U.

“My passion and fire for helping children has never burned out ever since I was born, just with family and friends passing away from cancer and terminal illnesses at a young age,” Cleveland said. “I want these children to grow up to go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, and glorify God in all things.”

Jack Whisler, Children's Miracle Network hospitals coordinator, said this is an example of Liberty University “preparing leaders for Christ and leaders for life.”

“I am very proud of the Life4U members working to meet the challenges of doing a first-time major event off campus, in the community,” he said. “Color Runs are big time in the big cities, but smaller cities like Lynchburg normally do not get to enjoy an event like that. Thanks to Life4U, it is here.”