By Joe Johnson
The inaugural Runs for Buns fundraising event at Beech Mountain Resort on March 7 was a tremendous success, raising over $30,000 for the Colon Cancer Coalition in order to spread awareness of the disease.
The community rallied around Kelly-Grier Costin and her family as she battles colon cancer herself; 89 participants and 17 different teams took part in the fundraising event, with sponsors donating money for each run completed by the participants.
A silent auction held the same day at Beech Mountain raised about $4,500 and there were other events held throughout the week of the fundraiser. The grand total of funds raised was $31,335 with more money still being donated to the cause at this very moment.
Various awards were given out to participants and teams that contributed something exceptional to the fundraiser. The Most Spirited Team title was awarded to the Beech Mountain Ski Patrol and the Best Costume award was given to the Beech Mountain Bourbon Society.
The coveted “Most Runs” award was achieved by Campbell Holder, who had 59 runs on lift 3 and received the trophy as a reward. On lift 5, Ross McNeill had 35 runs and won free pizza for a year from Mellow Mushroom.
The Fundraiser Award, given to the individual who raised the most funds, was awarded to Harper Costin, daughter of Kelly-Grier and Ryan Costin. Harper worked tirelessly on her own to raise over $10,187 for the Colon Cancer Coalition, making her the most successful fundraiser of the entire event.
“It was a really successful event,” said Talia Freeman, Director of Marketing for Beech Mountain Resort, “It was really special how the community came out for the event. We had a lot of local volunteers supporting us; it was just a good time!”
Kelly-Grier Costin was touched by the support of the community and local businesses toward the disease that affects her daily life. It was an empowering experience knowing how many people want to see her and others be successful in their battles with colon cancer. “I am so proud, thankful, and beaming with hope after this amazing weekend,” Costin wrote in a Facebook post, “Watauga and Avery County businesses, our people, and my whole family at Beech Mountain Resort did an outstanding job raising money and awareness for something we hold so close to our hearts. Thank you everyone that came, donated, and continues to support me and others fighting this disease. The Costin 5, our family, and friends love you all! Here’s to spreading more awareness as Colon Cancer Month continues!”