A 4.9K charity run through streets near downtown Orlando will honor the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub attack.
The commUNITY Rainbow Run is scheduled for June 10, two days before the one-year anniversary of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. It will begin and end at Wadeview Park, just a few blocks from Pulse.
The family of Juan Ramon Guerrero, a UCF student who perished in the attack, is expected to participate, along with first-responders and others touched by the tragedy.
The event organized by a group of UCF graduate students is also meant to promote the diversity and unity that brought the Orlando community together in the wake of the attack, organizers said.
“I was really proud of Orlando. Everyone, regardless of race or sexual orientation or religion or other differences, came together and supported one another. We’ve tried to take it from being a remembrance of a terrible thing and turn it into something positive,” said one of the organizers, Kaitlin “Elle” Ellenburg, who was invited to Pulse the night of the attack but didn’t go.
A portion of the proceeds from the commUNITY Rainbow Run will benefit the Zebra Coalition, which provides housing and support services to LGBT+ youth, and the OnePULSE Foundation founded by Pulse owner Barbara Poma.
“We’re definitely excited to be working with them. This is something we really wanted to do for the community,” said master’s student Todd Currie.
The charity run was organized by Mark Mueller, Currie, Ellenburg and other graduate students in the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida. Richard Lapchick, the endowed chair and director of the program, is a human rights activist, pioneer for racial equality and internationally recognized expert on sports issues.
The race will begin at 8 a.m. June 10 at the Orlando park located at 2177 S. Summerlin Ave., next to Boone High School.
Participants can register online until 11:59 p.m. on June 7, or register at the event. Those who can’t participate are still encouraged to register for a “virtual run” by 11:59 p.m. on June 2. Donations can be made before June 18.