The men of Galaxy raised $2,000 for the family of Jenny Bizaillion through the 27th annual Kirk Goodwin Run on Saturday. Members of the ACU and Abilene community came together to be a part of the five-kilometer race.
The purpose of the marathon is to raise money for families with unforeseen medical finances. After the death of Jenny Bizaillion, the women of Ko Jo Kai and men of Galaxy have searched for ways to raise funding for her medical costs and a potential college fund for their youngest daughter, Malaya Bizaillion.
Savannah Shelton, advertising/public relations major from Colleyville, participated in the marathon and enjoyed being a part of such a great cause.
“I did not know her personally,” Shelton said. “I knew they were going to help the Bizaillions, and that’s why I ran.”
Wilson Rotenberry, political science major from Abilene, directed the event and was enthusiastic about the turnout.
“We were really trying to make it not just an ACU event but a community event,” he said.
A total of 258 runners, 60 more than last year, stood at the starting line Saturday. Rotenberry said the large turnout was due in part to the fact most people are sensitive to the Bizaillion situation.
The men of Galaxy promoted the run through a Facebook group, Chapel announcements, and a table in the McGlothlin Campus Center. They also distributed 600 registration forms at Mayor Norm Archibald’s 6K Marathon.Â This is Rotenberry’s second year directing the marathon, and he said believes each year they see a growing number of community members.
The race began at 8 a.m. Saturday, and the route started and ended at the Hardin Administration Building after winding through University Hills. It lasted 45 minutes and finished strong; Nathan Neill placed first, Jesse Coates, second, and Juan Collazo, third.
Natalie Fleet, business management major from Abilene, is a member of Ko Jo Kai and was encouraged to see how the men of Galaxy raised money for the Bizaillions.
“I think it’s awesome,” Fleet said. “We really appreciate all of the clubs stepping up for a sole purpose.”
The Bizaillion family did not attend the Kirk Goodwin race due to a prior fundraising engagement, but many families were there to support them.
For more information about how to support the Bizaillion family, visit www.runningwithjenny.com/home.html.