03 Feb Cheers! 2015 LIFE Runners of the Year
Each year we honor a few LIFE Runners who truly go the extra mile to “REMEMBER The Unborn” – putting their Pro-Life faith in action with prayer, fundraising, and awareness. We have over 4,000 awesome teammates – cheers!
2015 LIFE Runners Man of the Year – Pastor Conan Hatch! He stands up boldly for Pro-Life in the Fiji Islands where the subject is taboo. He encourages his church to participate in Pro-Life classes. As the chapter chaplain, Pastor Conan helps Fiji LIFE Runners stay involved in community outreach and a weekly prayer run/walk to reach those who need the message of hope on our gear. Thanks to him and the faithful Fiji LIFE Runners, Fiji is the fastest growing chapter in the world (over 140 teammates). Pastor Conan along with the Fiji Chapter are striving to get the “REMEMBER The Unborn Jer 1:5” message throughout Fiji to prevent abortion from becoming legalized there.
2015 LIFE Runners Lady of the Year – Colleen Ware! During the A-Cross America Relay, she organized a 13 mile Planned Parenthood to Planned Parenthood stretch of remote Relay legs for her Boise ID LIFE Runners chapter. At the end, they did a Jericho March with a “REMEMBER The Unborn Jer 1:5” banner, praying and walking seven times around Planned Parenthood. Colleen attended the World Meeting of Families where Pope Francis noticed her family in their bold blue LIFE Runners gear! She did a half marathon at our national race in Las Vegas. “This year and all my time with LIFE Runners has taught me a lot about sacrifice and being part of something bigger – running for life!”
2015 LIFE Runners male Student of the Year – Brett Blakeman! He is such a strong advocate for Life at St. Thomas More middle school in Rapid City, SD. Brett wears his LIFE Runners gear daily – school, church, running errands, bike riding, and even skateboarding! He participates in chapter events, helps raise funds for local pregnancy help center, and rides his bike alongside his Mom as she trains. Brett is LIFE Runners strong and doesn’t buckle to peer pressure. Only God knows how many young people he is influencing. Brett is a true champion for LIFE!
2015 LIFE Runners female Student of the Year – Alexa Lamb! She is truly a voice for the unborn at St. Stanislaus School and in her Wardsville MO community. Her name is embroidered on her LIFE Runners jacket, and she wears it often. Her mother Jenny wrote, “Alexa was born emergency C-section at 6 ½ weeks premature. She has always been small, yet mighty! I am proud to allow my daughter to be on a Team that promotes the dignity of human life and lives a Christian example of prayer and service. I am humbled that Alexa was selected – she will make the Team proud!”
2015 LIFE Runners Family of the Year – the Kosta Family! This St. Louis family truly puts their Pro-Life faith in action: DC and Midwest March for Life, 40 Days for Life, A-Cross America Relay, San Antonio Mission for Life Half Marathon, Ed’s Run for Life, the Friends of Birthright 5K, the Kimmswick 5K, Billiken 5K, new St. Louis LIFE Runners Chapter leaders, established a student LIFE Runners chapter at their parish school, St. Louis Respect Life convention booth, St. Louis LIFE Runners monthly public witness, America’s Pro-life Half Marathon/5K (son Phil sang National Anthem), daughter Mary became a Coalition for Life intern, Las Vegas Half Marathon, Armold Turkey Trot 5K, sponsored The Holiday Hilltop 5K, St. Louis LIFE Runners Christmas lights run, Way of Lights 5K booth – All In Christ for Pro-Life!
For 2016, we will also name the first ever LIFE Runners Chapter of the Year in honor of Ed Heigl. Each chapter leader will be asked to answer the following questions to determine the most active chapter. As a reminder, chapters should meet at least monthly in LIFE Runners jerseys out in public to impact hearts/minds for saving lives – high fives!
1) Did your chapter participate in the A-Cross America Relay? List legs.
2) Team Building – Did your chapter meet regularly for walk/runs and other public gatherings? List events.
3) Community Involvement – Did your chapter pray outside of an abortion facility or do community service? Examples – clean up a road side, volunteer at a pregnancy help center or soup kitchen. List events.
4) Social Media – Is your Facebook page kept active? Do you share items from the National LIFE Runners Team Facebook page? What do you post and how often?
5) Does your chapter stay active with the worldwide First Wednesday of the month #GearUpSpeakUp?
6) What do you consider to be your chapter’s greatest achievements for 2016?
Adult LIFE Runners of the Year: in memory of Joseph E. Castle (26 May 1943 – 26 Mar 2011), for exemplifying Pro-Life Leader, Provider, Protector. Recipients: 2011 Bishop Thomas Paprocki (IL), 2012 Paul Westendorf (SD), 2013 Ed Heigl (MO), 2013 Sara Beaner (SD), 2014 Nelson De Los Santos (TX), 2014 Karen Patnaude (Fiji Islands), Colleen Ware (ID), Pastor Conan Hatch (Fiji Islands).
Student LIFE Runners of the Year: in memory of Jason Aaron “JP” Peters (19 May 2000 to 16 Feb 2013), for teaching us to better appreciate God’s gift of life. Recipients: 2013 James Vignola (MO), 2013 Keelan Glass (TX), 2014 Ryan Cascio (VA), 2014 Paige Castle (MO), 2015 Brett Blakeman (SD), 2015 Alexa Lamb (MO).
God first, Life always, Teammates forever!