Runnin' for Rhett was formed in honor of Rhett Seevers, who was born with cerebral palsy and died in 2004 at age 7. His parents, Beth and Randy Seevers, founded the organization to encourage kids to run, which was something their son wanted to do, but never could.
The nonprofit runs a five week after-school training program in the spring and fall at two dozen schools. During the training programs, students meet twice a week with their coach to work on strength training, running and to learn about nutrition as they prepare to run a 5K.
The hard work of those students will culminate in the second annual Run Because You Can race on Oct. 28 at Crocker Park. The race is open to anyone, with the students beginning shortly after the general public. There is a 5K, 10K and kids run.
Last year, the Runnin' for Rhett Foundation was honored with a $10,000 check after being named the statewide gold medal winner for nonprofit organization of the year by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Runnin' for Rhett put that award and other money raised from fundraisers and an adult training program back into their youth fitness program, said Randy Seevers.
This year, Runnin' for Rhett is in schools in the San Juan, Sacramento City, Galt and Elk Grove school districts. Seevers said the nonprofit is primarily at high-needs schools, called Title I schools. He said since starting the nonprofit, he realized there is "so much work to do with youth."
"We see child obesity levels going through the roof," he said.
For more information on Runnin' for Rhett or the Run Because You Can race, visit http://www.runninforrhett.org
(Photo courtesy of Runnin' for Rhett)