Run For Independence takes place Saturday |

Run For Independence takes place Saturday

Kristen Lodgeklodge@skyhidailynews.comWinter Park, CO Colorado

Lisa Wild, of Granby, runs the annual Run for Independence race in Winter Park.

Money raised from Run for Independence participants will fund children with kidney disease who want to attend summer camp at Snow Mountain Ranch.The Scott Hughes Endowment Fund was created by Grand County residents Kent and Jancie Hughes. After the death of their 24 year-old son, Scott, from kidney disease, they set up a fund in his memory for children suffering from the same disease. The foundation is administered by the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Denver, and funds will be used for camp scholarships at Camp Chief Ouray at Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies and the on-site Vacation Kidney Center. “Scott was diagnosed at 14 with kidney disease, I gave him a kidney. The disease returned to the transplanted kidney after he graduated from college. We picked Winter Park for a family vacation based on the Vacation Kidney Center. The center was a special place to Scott, so we set up this fund,” said Jancie Hughes.Chronic disease defines your life. Some patients need dialysis three times a week for two hours, and others need to be on a dialysis machine several times daily. The camp is not just for children with kidney disease, it’s for healthy kids too, she said. They share the camping experience, share hikes and cabins.The children on dialysis can do the same things the other children attending the camp. The camp counselors are great, she said. “The camp is an opportunity for parents to have a week knowing their child is in good hands.” The cost is $600 per child to attend the camp, and last year the foundation sent 22 children to camp. This year’s kids will be coming to Grand County from Children’s Hospital Dialysis program. “Last year, when we took the kids back to Denver after camp, the camp counselors cried and told me they are the most thoughtful campers they ever had,” she said.Hughes continues to receive letters from parents of campers who say how wonderful it was to be able to spend time with their other children while their child with kidney disease came to the summer camp. The raceLast year 630 runners finished the race. Organizers hope to have even more this year to help fund summer camp children at the YMCA.This year the run will start at The Vintage Hotel at Winter Park Resort. Competitors will run through the village and down the Fraser River Trail. They will continue through downtown Winter Park and finish at Grand Park in Fraser. Every participant will get a race T-shirt, post-race party, and a prize entry. The after-party will be at Grand Park in Fraser with lots of refreshments, awards and prizes. The first 600 finishers will receive a medal.Local runnerLisa Wild, 31, of Granby has run the race six times; every year she has lived in the county.”It’s the only generally downhill run in the county. There is no other race like it,” Wild said This race is fun since so many locals run it and a lot of people from out of town and their families run it, she said.”It’s the 4th of July (holiday) – I have to run it.” Not one to run for time, she runs races in the county for fun. “When I started running in these races, I would win so now I’m a little bit more conscious of the competition,” she said.The competition is more fun than getting a certain time. Wild will also run the Run the Ranches series in the fall, participating in the trail races since they began. She has finished first overall female in many of them. She is also running the Middle Park Half Marathon in Granby July 7, and Grand Lake’s Buffalo BBQ 5K. “The Granby Gut Buster is a good one, too.” “Run for Independence is one of the prettiest pavement runs in the county with views of the resort and river.”- Kristen Lodge can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610