Colors of Hope 5K raises awareness of Gritman's Light a Candle program

MOSCOW, ID - The Old Tidyman's parking lot has never looked as colorful as it did on Saturday morning, when the abandoned lot served as the finish line for the first ever Gritman Medical Center Colors of Hope 5K.

The fundraiser was even more of a success than anticipated. More than 250 people showed up to run or walk for the cure.

"I always thought it would be fun to do a color run so I was like 'Why not?'" said participant Anthony Outman.

For some people, the motivation was more personal.

"For us it's really good because our grandparents, or our grandmothers had cancer and so it's a good support for them," said participant Alysha Jalli.

It was a shorter run, five kilometers is just over three miles. It was really about just having fun. Participants passed through five stations along the way that represented different cancers. At each station, a different colored cornstarch was thrown on the participants, and at the end of the run, everyone had a color war with the extra cornstarch. A few of the kids even included me in the fun.

"I was told to come dressed casually," said reporter Rachel Dubrovin. "And clearly, it's a good thing I did. The colors will wash away within a couple of days, but the money raised will have a much longer lasting impact here on the Palouse."

Gritman Medical Center's Light a Candle Fund organized the event. The program is just a little more than a year old, and this is the second major fundraising event that it has held to help local people battle cancer.

"We want to do fundraisers that are fun," said Light a Candle co-founder Debi Dockins. "We want to provide community activities that people enjoy doing while raising money for people in Latah and Whitman county who are battling cancer."

All of the money raised in the event will go straight towards helping local cancer patients. In addition to raising funds, the run also raised awareness about the Light a Candle program.

"We hope that it brings awareness to the program so people battling cancer will have an opportunity to call us, know what's going on with the program, and use the services," said Dockins. "Our goal is to raise money and give it away. We don't want to hold onto it."