3rd Annual Happy Day 5K This Saturday

By Benjamin Cox on September 29, 2023 at 7:19pm

Spreading kindness through a 5K – that’s the theme this Saturday at Nichols Park.

The 3rd annual Hannah Mansell Happy Day Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be held this Saturday. Kathy Mansell, Hannah’s mother, says that Hannah’s father Ken came up with the idea to do the run in support of a foundation set up in Hannah’s name.

Hannah passed away in January 2021 in Urbana after a battle with Covid-19 at the age of 26. Kathy says that the foundation is supporting several different things that were all important to Hannah’s life: “We have several different endeavors that we use the money for. First, there is a scholarship in Hannah’s name at William Wood University in Fulton, Missouri where she graduated. The scholarship is for an ASL interpreting student, which is what Hannah was – an interpreter at a school in Mattoon. So, every year, an ASL interpreting student is getting a scholarship. We are really proud of that.”

Kathy says that another portion of the money goes to students in Mattoon that Hannah worked with as well as to students here in Jacksonville: “Another portion of the money goes to the students that she worked with in Mattoon so that they can have some things that they need. There are a lot of needy students there and so, we help support them with the different things that they need. Then, recently, in the last year, we have started mini-grants in the schools here in the Jacksonville area, since Hannah grew up here, for kindness projects in the schools. Teachers will submit their proposals for some projects that they want to do in the classroom, encouraging students to be kind and show kindness to others.”

Kathy says that District 117 sends photos on all of the different kindness projects that students complete or are still ongoing all in the spirit of Hannah’s memory.

Kathy says despite the race being this weekend, there is still time to sign up and participate: “You can still show up on Saturday. The run/walk starts at 10AM in Nichols Park. We’ll be over by the breakfast pavilion that is just south of the Kiwanis pavilion. That’s where we will start. We will take registrations right there. Depending upon how many we have, you may or may not be guaranteed your shirt on that day. If you don’t get your shirt on that day, then we will send you one. We also have a raffle with lots of great items that were donated by friends and businesses. There’s lots of great things to be had there as well.”

Cost to participate in the run/walk event is $30. She says if you aren’t into doing a 5K, there’s another opportunity to help raise funds for Hannah’s foundation tonight: “We have a pack-the-house fundraiser at Los Rancheros [tonight]. It is Hannah’s golden birthday. She would be 29 on the 29th. If you are unable to participate in the 5K on Saturday, come on out and have dinner with us at Los Rancheros.”

There is still time to sign up electronically for the race at this link.