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Lekotek 5K benefits children with disabilities
by LaTria Garnigan
August 12, 2014 01:24 PM | 1566 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the 22nd year, 5K enthusiasts will be able to support a DeKalb organization whose mission is to help children with disabilities.

On Saturday, the Lekotek Run 4 Kids will be held at Georgia Perimeter College’s Dunwoody campus, 2101 Womack Road, beginning with a four-mile run/walk at 8 a.m. and a one-mile fun run at 9:15 a.m. The races will begin and end at the college’s campus. Participants should arrive by 7 a.m. for race day registration.

Lekotek, founded in 1983 by Helene Prokesch, provides accessible play, adaptive technology and toys, information and resources to facilitate inclusion in family and community life for children with disabilities. Prokesch, who was inspired to start the organization due to her nephew who was born with Down syndrome, said the organization serves children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, rare genetic disorders, visual impairments, hearing impairments and speech and language delays.

Prokesch said Saturday’s event is the biggest fundraiser for Lekotek, which depends on donations.

“We anticipate 600 to 700 runners and to raise $50,000,” said Prokesch. “We’re proud that 92 percent of every dollar goes to direct services. Because we are a nonprofit, we are dependent on individual donors, corporate donors and special events. The run is our major annual special event.”

The organization sees individuals from birth to ages 21. It is a complimentary center-based program, said Prokesch, using activities as low-tech as a knob on a puzzle to a high-tech solution like a head mouse.

“A head mouse is for a child who is limited physically, but has the ability to move their head slightly,” she said. “As a child moves his or her head, the cursor moves on the computer.”

Prokesch said the organization’s equipment is adapted for each child. The main campus is at 1955 Cliff Valley Way in Atlanta, with satellite campuses in Duluth, Cumming, Kennesaw, Fayetteville and Gainesville.

The race route is “gently rolling” according to Prokesch, and does not go through downtown Dunwoody, but does go on Womack and in the neighborhoods behind the college.

All children who participate will receive a medal, and runners in the 5K will receive first, second and third place prizes according to their age division. Baby strollers are permitted. For those who do not care to participate, but would like to still contribute, there will be several activities on hand including Chopper the mascot for the Atlanta Braves, a New Balance sneaker mascot and Dr. WellBee from WellStar. Arts and crafts, inflatables, and a finish line brunch provided by several Dunwoody area businesses will be on hand.

For more information on the organization, visit www.lekotekga.org.

Race Details:
What: Lekotek Run 4 Kids
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.
Where: Georgia Perimeter College, 2101 Womack Road
Cost: $25

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