By Allena Smith

There are a few moments in life one may look back upon and realize that in that instant, everything changed.  While I did not fully grasp this concept at the time, May 9, 2006 was one of those moments. It was on this day that I watched my best friend’s life as she knew it, fall apart.  Ten months earlier, her younger brother, Zachary Tucker, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, a disease with which he battled bravely and fiercely, always with a smile on his face. It is in his memory that his mother Sherry Tucker founded the Giving Hope Through Faith Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to provide monetary, emotional, and spiritual support to families in the Tampa area who have a loved one undergoing cancer treatment.  Since its inception in 2007, the Foundation has assisted 370 families.  Saturday, October 26 will mark the fourth annual “Make Them Smile…Give Them Hope” Zach Tucker Memorial 5K and Fun Run.

In order to honor Zach’s memory and his love for all sports, runners will arrive at Lithia Springs Elementary dressed to the nines in Halloween garb for the 8 a.m. start time.  Afterwards, all participants are invited to stick around for snacks, awards, and a one-mile fun run for the younger racers. Help the Foundation make this the best year yet by signing up with friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, classmates, or any other competitors for the opportunity to win the Zach Tucker Spirit Award for the highest fundraising organization.  All the funds will go towards monthly care packages that contain $100-$130 in gift cards along with words of encouragement and hope.  “The support of family and friends through such a trying time is invaluable; the Foundation hopes to provide for those who may not have such a strong support system available to them,” said Sherry Tucker.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Registration fees are $25 through Friday, October 25 and $30 on race day.  Join in for a morning of fun and great competition by registering on, visiting or calling 685-6773 for more information.

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