Lee University to Hold 65 Roses 5K in April

Events, News

By Merritt Jenkins

Lee University will host the 2021 65 Roses 5K to raise funds for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). The in-person 5K race/walk will take place on Lee’s campus Saturday, April 17. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the CF Foundation and its Cleveland Great Strides walk, a virtual event this year culminating in a celebration on May 15.

“We are thrilled that 2020 is behind us and that we are in a position to come together and put on the 65 Roses race again,” said Dr. Bill Estes, race coordinator and dean of the Helen DeVos College of Education. “After 20 years, this event truly has become a tradition in the Cleveland community. We hope the thousands of folks who have run in the past 20 years will come out and run again with us as we take these little steps to return to normalcy. Best of all, our efforts continue to raise money and awareness to end cystic fibrosis.”

The April 17 event will follow the regular 65 Roses 5K route through downtown Cleveland. All are welcome to run or walk the 5K (or 1K Fun Run). Runners and walkers will receive dri-wicking running shirts and beanies this year for their participation, and chip timing will be provided by Terra Running Company.

The race cost is $25, and event day registration will begin at 7 a.m. The 5K race/walk begins at 9, and the 1K Fun Run will take place at 9:30. Race awards will be announced virtually via the Terra Running website, and the 65 Roses 5K fundraising total will be announced via social media later that day.

Lee University is committed to the safety of p articipants in the 65 Roses 5K and will follow recommended state and local guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. Race organizers will monitor the situation and will notify participants if conditions require logistical changes for the April 17 event.

The 65 Roses 5K began in 2003 as an opportunity for those interested in doing more than walking at Great Strides, the CF Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. All proceeds from the 65 Roses race will go to support the CF Foundation and Cleveland’s virtual Great Strides.

“Individua ls with cystic fibrosis and their families take such encouragement and hope from our campus and community’s embrace of this cause,” said Vanessa Hammond, parent of a son with CF. “In the past year alone, I have seen first-hand what an impact the new medications have made in daily life for my son Will and other kids and young adults here locally. These life-saving drugs are available because of people like those in Cleveland and Bradley County who run, walk, and donate to find a cure.”

This event consistently rallies hundreds of community participants and Lee University students to raise money for the Foundation. To date, Great Strides has raised more than $42 million with over 125,000 participants at events all across the nation. The C leveland event has reached over $1.1 million raised for CF research since the local event’s founding in 2001.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. Its focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF, and ultimately find a cure. In the last 30 years, the life expectancy of a child with CF has doubled, and research is happening daily to find a cure and develop drugs available to those living with CF.

For more information about the CF Foundation, visit

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Vanessa Hammond, Cleveland Great Strides co-chair, at

For more information or to register for the 65 Roses 5K race, visit

PHOTO: Runners for the 2019 65 Roses 5K are pictured here at the starting line.


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