SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A popular local Mother’s Day event returned in person for the first time since 2019 Sunday morning. Hundreds of runners and walkers took to Saratoga Spa State Park for the 10th annual Kelly’s Angels Mother-Lovin’ 5K.
Those with Kelly’s Angels say this year’s turnout, which was over 800 participants, is record-breaking. Proceeds from the event will directly benefit Kelly’s Angels, which is entirely made up of volunteers.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We give away tens of thousands of dollars every year to help children and families that are in need,” said Don Lehman, who’s on the board of the organization.
Kelly’s Angels started in memory of Kelly Mulholland who passed away from breast cancer in 2007. Its goal is to bring light to children experiencing difficult times following a loss or an ongoing health battle, through grants and scholarships.
Some families who have been supported by the organization came out Sunday to show their support and appreciation, “It kinda chokes you up to see a lot of people we’ve helped have come out either to volunteer or run themselves,” Lehman said.
One of those runners was Majiel Baker, “My family was touched by Kelly’s Angels this year after my cancer diagnosis. If you’re going to support any cause, this is the cause. It’s an amazing, unbelievable cause.”
Meanwhile, others are paying it forward, “I’m very proud of my family,” said Paula Wait.
Wait and her family was helped by the organization after she was involved in a car accident. After her daughter won some money as part of a contest at Siena College, she decided to give that money back to the organization that helped them through the challenging time.
“I was home, I wasn’t even able to walk yet. Just to have someone thinking about us and rooting for us, it really helped to bring light to the situation and just to know that we had to keep going,” Wait said.
This year’s event was the first time the event has been back in-person since before the pandemic. Last year, hundreds participated virtually in every state and Puerto Rico.