Rendezvous Run 4 Independence is July 3 |

Rendezvous Run 4 Independence is July 3

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 3, competitors will leave the starting gate in the annual Rendezvous Run for Independence. Beginning at Winter Park Resort, competitors will wend their way down the beautiful Fraser River Trail, through green forests and open valleys, the Town of Winter Park and across the meadow to the finish line in front of Ski Depot in Fraser.

The five mile course, mostly flat or downhill, has an elevation loss of 650 feet. Runners, walkers, wheelchair racers, stroller pushers and moseyers of all ages are invited to compete.

It’s time to register for this great Saturday event. Pick up an entry form at the Chamber of Commerce or register online at, or on race day at Winter Park Resort between 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Every participant will get a race t-shirt, post-race party and a prize entry. The after-party will be at the Ski Broker in Fraser with lots of refreshments, great awards and prize drawings. Free parking will be available at Winter Park Resort for the race start, with a return shuttle bus available at Ski Broker beginning at 10 a.m.

Entry fees cost $20 in advance for ages 18 and under, $25 for adults and $55 for a family. Add $5 for race day fees. Race proceeds will benefit the Scott Hughes Foundation, which is administered by the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Denver, and will be granted to kids with kidney disease and used for camp scholarships at Camp Chief Ouray at Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies and the on site Vacation Kidney Center.

Generous donors give prizes for the drawing at the post-race party, in which every race entrant’s number is included. Karen Vance annually donates one of her framed and signed giclees, an especially popular prize. Rocky Mountain Roastery, Christy Sports and the Ski Broker are among the many generous merchants in our community who support this race with prizes.

Over the years gracious sponsors have included Rendezvous, Mountain Timber Furnishings, the Fraser River Valley Lions Club, Amazin’ Mazes, Grand Mountain Bank, Christy Sports, Beaver Villlage, ReMax, Highland Lumber, the towns of Winter Park and Fraser, Winter Park Resort, Mountain Parks Electric and Touchstone Energy.

Now in its 16th year, this has always been a fun event, supported by local runners and walkers as well as by competitors from as nearby as the Front Range and as far away as Florida.

But it hasn’t always had the same name. In 1994, the first year for a July 4 running event in the Fraser Valley, it was called the Fraser River Trail Five Mile Run. Initiated by the chamber’s Catherine Ross, it celebrated the opening of the brand new Fraser River Trail. In 1995 it became the Run for Independence and included a 10K event, and in 2002 Koelbel’s Rendezvous joined as the title sponsor and it is now known as the Rendezvous Run 4 Independence.

In 1995, proceeds from the event first funded scholarships for children with kidney disease to attend Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA summer camp and the Vacation Kidney Center of the Rockies. Camp Chief Ouray has incorporated pediatric kidney patients into its program since 1975. hildren from ages 8 to 16 sign up for one week summer sessions and are involved in all camp activities, sharing cabin life, arts and crafts, and camp sports, all near the kidney center where their dialysis treatments are performed and their medical needs met.

The run celebrate not only the nation’s independence but also promote independence for children on dialysis or post kidney transpant, granting independence from the confines of kidney disease for them and their families. Without scholarships this wonderful experience would not be possible for most families whose young children contend with kidney dialysis or the medications following kidney transplant.

The Vacation Kidney Center, on the grounds of the YMCA/Snow Mountain Ranch, just north of Winter Park, is a unique high-altitude dialysis facility which provides an opportunity for children and adults with kidney disease to vacation in the mountains yet have access to nearby medical treatment. The Scott Hughes Endowment Fund, recipient of the proceeds from the Run for Independence, is administered by the Children’s Hospital Foundation which benefits the Denver Children’s Hospital Kidney Center.

The Scott Hughes Endowment Fund was founded by locals Kent and Jancie Hughes, whose son Scott succumbed to kidney disease at the age of 24 in 1994. Never allowing himself to be defined by the chronic illness he contracted at age 14, Scott skied for his high school, graduated from college, and came to Colorado and the Fraser Valley because of the Vacation Kidney Center where he received dialysis. He believed that children who attended camp could prove to themselves that they can accomplish all that the children without kidney disease can do. And so the Run for Indpendence supports that opportunity for young children.

Who can pass up a chance to spend part of the long Fourth of July week-end in this beautiful valley while helping children? And the cause should touch the hearts of all. Children who must spend three or four hours three times each week in the company of their dialysis machines are granted scholarships to a camp where they can join kids without medical problems in all the camp activities, yet slip away to the Vacation Kidney Center for their medical needs – a new found and special independence which allows them not to be defined by their kidneys.

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