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2nd annual Ally’s 5k Run this Saturday

By: Allyson Koehler Special to The News Messenger
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Know and Go: What: Second annual Ally’s 5K Run When: 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday Where: Ride To Walk Facility, 1630 Highway 193 Phone: 434-0693 2nd annual Ally’s 5k Run this Saturday By Allyson Koehler Special to The News Messenger Lincoln’s very own Ride to Walk riding facility will put on a 5k as well as a 10k race this Saturday. A 5k is equal to 3.1 miles and a 10k is equal to 6 miles. Ride to Walk is a Lincoln nonprofit organization with a mission to “enhance the lives of children and young adults with neurological disabilities by providing innovative therapeutic horseback riding activities,” according to its website. Who is Ally? Ally was a very beautiful young girl, the daughter of Joe and Nikki Ellis residing in Lincoln. Ally was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after suffering major brain damage from birth complications. Her parents were told that she wouldn’t make it her first night, and that if she did, she would be a “vegetable” and wouldn’t survive a year, according to Ride to Walk staff. Ally had much therapy and surpassed her doctor’s expectations. Although she had many health challenges and disabilities, she was doing great, according to her family. Ally was a regular at Ride to Walk and always looked forward to Friday mornings when she rode. She became a big sister before being diagnosed with a severe heart condition. She died on Dec. 7, 2009. She lived for 4 ½-years and touched many lives during that short time. The Ride to Walk’s second annual Ally’s Run benefits the scholarship set up in Ally’s name. Because of the organization’s budget cuts just before Ally’s death, many children were unable to attend the facility and receive the therapy they needed, according to her uncle, Corey McKenna. Because of this, Corey McKenna set up this scholarship. Scholarship funds are given to families who can not afford the Ride to Walk therapy. Ally’s run currently has almost 200 participants and more participants are welcome. According to McKenna, they raised more than $40,000 last year. “I absolutely plan on keeping this going,” McKenna said. In the upcoming years, McKenna plans to add a 1-mile fun run for children. His goal is to add a half- marathon within the next five years and maybe even a triathlon. “I would love this to be a signature event in Lincoln that draws tons of people every year, similar to Run Rocklin held in late April (which draws close to 2000 runners),” McKenna said. Make sure to head out and show your support at the Ride to Walk facility on Saturday. For more information, visit online ridetowalk.org/ally. Allyson Koehler is the Lincoln High School Zebra Tales’ assistant editor.