Run to benefit neonatal intensive care unit
The inaugural Piper 5K in honor of three-year old Piper Buckley will take place at the Gateway Community on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 9 a.m with proceeds to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
The race will honor the life and spirit of Piper Lynne Buckley who was born on Oct. 21, 2006 weighing only 3.9 lbs and spent 21 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Children’s Hospital. Piper passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on Christmas Day of 2009 at only three years of age. Piper was the daughter of Realtor and former Florida Everblades star Tom Buckley and Mallie Montgomery retail store owner Heather Holland, both of Fort Myers. Piper served as The Boston Red Sox Children’s Hospital Celebrity Classic’s MVP (Most Valuable Patient) in 2008 which also supported the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Runners will start at 9 a.m. with walkers and a stroller push beginning at 9:30 a.m. The race will start and finish at the Soccer Complex on Griffin Drive in the community of Gateway in Fort Myers.
Entry fee is $29 in advance or $39 day of race. Fee includes commemorative T-shirt and lunch. Entry forms are available at www.piperbuckley.com. All entry forms must be signed and all checks made payable to the Piper Buckley Foundation. Entry form and check must be mailed to Ed Ryan C/O Fort Myers Fitness, 13130 Westlinks Terrace, Fort Myers FL, 33913. (Early) Registration bags and numbers can be picked up at Fort Myers Fitness on Friday, Feb.12. If unable to attend you can also support the event by purchasing a t-shirt for $15.00 at Fort Myers Fitness with all proceeds to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“Piper had an amazing spirit and was an inspiration to us all,” said Kathy Bridge-Liles, V.P. Women’s & Children’s Services at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in a prepared statement. “We are honored that her family has chosen to help save the lives of other babies we are caring for each day in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”
Donations are key to providing services, other officials agreed.
“Our Children’s Hospital depends on philanthropic support to maintain continued excellence in care. We are deeply touched by the community support of all of those who have chosen to honor Piper’s spirit by contributing to this effort,” said Sharon A. MacDonald, chief foundation officer, Lee Memorial Health System, also in a prepared statement. “We thank Piper’s parents Tom and Heather and their families for their continuing commitment to our mission to help save the lives of our tiniest patients.”
For more information, please visit www.piperbuckley.com or call the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation office at 239-985-3550.
Source: Lee Memorial Health System