Rainbow Run, Family Fun Day April 19
by Bradley Hartsell
On April 19, Abby’s Angels Foundation will host its first Rainbow Run and Family Fun Day.
The 5K Rainbow Run, to be held at the Coweta County Fairgrounds, will blast participants with colored powder for a technicolor run to raise money for Abby’s Angels Foundation. The idea for the colorful powder came from 9-year old Abby Bacho herself, who was killed in December 2012 when a truck collided with the family van.
Soon after the loss, Bacho’s family started a foundation in her honor, with several activities including the Rainbow Run and Family Fun Day.
“We wanted to have a fundraiser that would bring the community together and allow us to give thanks for all of the support, love and kindness to our family,” said Natalie Bacho, Abby’s mother.
“Abby participated in a 5K when she was 7 years old,” Bacho said of why the family wanted to host a run. “She was really excited when she learned what a ‘color run’ was. She wanted to run in one someday.”
To help bring life to Abby Bacho’s interests and share them with the community, Natalie Bacho and several of her friends have been meeting twice a month since November to organize a “family fun day” with a color-themed 5K at the center. It was challenging for the family, being first-time organizers, but they managed to find their way, leading to the April 19 event.
“It’s going to be a day of reflection for Abby,” said Bacho. “Her life, her giving spirit, the gifts she gave through living. It’s going to be a huge day of celebration for families. And it’s on Easter weekend, which we didn’t plan for, but it makes it more special that it is.”
The family picked April because it’s organ donation awareness month, something the family is passionate about. Abby Bacho was an organ donor and her organs saved the life of a little boy.
The “family fun day” is free and open to the public, without registration. The event will include food, shopping vendors, music and karaoke, facepainting, cornhole, sack races, raffles and even an ambulance and firetruck for kids to check out.
The 5K registration is $30, and to receive a race T-shirt, registrations must be completed by March 31. The Newnan Crossing Elementary School chorus, which Bacho was in, will open the proceedings by singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The race will begin at 9 a.m. (registration on race day, for those not yet registered, will begin at 7 a.m.), with the festivities continuing until 2 p.m.
The Abby’s Angels Foundation website includes a printable registration form (www.abbysangelsfoundation.org).
All proceeds from the event go to Abby’s Angels, to help fund their community contribution, Abby’s Closet, which donates school supplies for children who lack resources. The closet is offered to children in need and gives privacy to the student, aided by the child’s teacher, so they are not embarrassed about not having materials.
The program began last year at Newnan Crossing Elementary and has extended to several area schools along with two in West Virginia (the Bachos’ previous hometown). Natalie Bacho says the foundation’s goal for the summer is to begin work to eventually establish an Abby’s Closet in every school in Coweta County.
“It’s been very bittersweet and hopeful at the same time,” Bacho said of the event planning. “The response we’ve received from the community to hold this day has been overwhelming .”
Through these events and her family’s continued efforts, Natalie Bacho is confident she is helping her daughter live on in the hearts of others.
“In her short nine years, she lived so much,” Bacho said. “Her life generated a lot of momentum and we don’t want to stop that momentum. For the people who didn’t know her, we wanted to introduce them to Abby and share her story and the gifts that she gave.”
“We want it to reflect her,” she added. “She loved to get together with family and friends, she was very social. She loved to laugh and smile. Just the fact she wanted to run in a color run, this event is something we know reflects her. She’d want to be there and be a part of all of it.”