The event will get under way Aug. 18, with the Dunwoody campus of Georgia Perimeter College serving as both the starting and finish line.
“It raises funds and raises awareness,” said Lekotek founder and executive director Helene Prokesch. “If you have a child with a disability, hopefully you know about [us] … but we also want the community at large to know we’re here.”
Around 700 participants are expected to turn out for this year’s event — seven times the number who participated in the inaugural run two decades ago.
The nonprofit serves children with a wide range of disabilities, including, among others, autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and spina bifida.
Of the 535 children the entity’s Atlanta office aids, 122 of them hail from DeKalb County, Prokesch said.
“Our mission is reaching this goal of inclusion ... including children into their families, schools and communities,” said Prokesch. “We see ourself as a resource to families, providing information that will help them help their child.”
Nonprofit clients are privy to an array of adapted toys, computer equipment and educational materials designed to bridge the learning and social gap between them and non-special needs peers. Lekotek programming covers infants to nine year olds; post-graduation offerings accommodate adolescents and teenagers.
Prokesch, a runner herself, called race day an event well worth turning out for.
“Logistically, [the course] is very runner-friendly … not to mention the many activities and refreshments following,” she said.
The event offers course options for every fitness level — a four-mile road race and walk and one-mile fun run.
The four-mile race is slated to begin at 8 a.m.; the one-mile fun run at 9 a.m.
In addition to pre-race registration, runners can also sign up the day of the event, beginning at 7 a.m.