First Stronger Together 5K supports a new non-profit
COLUMBIA — Stronger Together hosted its first 5K around the south Columbia streets Saturday morning.
Stronger Together is a new foundation raising money for mid-Missouri kids whose families can’t afford sports outside of school. The money raised will generate scholarships to those wanting to participate in recreational and competitve sports, and summer camps.
The Stronger Together campaign website says, "Participation in sports and youth camps helps instill teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, respect, motivation and integrity into young people’s lives."
Anne Sievers and Rylan Adams founded Stronger Together after a friend of theirs wanted to keep her kids on their sports teams, but she wasn’t able to pay for their participation while also paying for breast cancer treatment.
"Once we started with that family, then we knew we needed to provide for other families along the way as well," Sievers said.
Officially sponsoring their first child in January, Sievers and Adams have started to spread awareness of the need for assistance in mid-Missouri through events like Saturday’s 5K.
Sievers said communities are able to unite through sports.
"Sports is a common language for anybody at any age," Sievers said.
She also said she has a personal connection.
"It changed my life," Sievers said. "I was a swimmer my whole life and it took me to places around the country I never would have gotten to go. I got to college because of swimming."
"[I want] to be able to give back to kids what was given to me," Sievers added.
Dave Boyd’s children participate in recreational sports, and he came to support Stronger Together because of the positive impact sports have on his kids.
"It gives them social interaction. It keeps them healthy," Boyd said. "It keeps them off their phone, and gives them something to do and look forward to."
One of the younger participants in the 5K said all her friends come from her sports teams and that companionship is why she wants to help raise money for kids who don’t have that opportunity.
"I feel really bad for them because they don’t have another way to communicate [outside] of school," runner Brianna Watson said.
At the end of the day, Sievers said she’s excited to see people come support the foundation.
"We could not do it without the families," Sievers said. "Whether it’s time, energy, effort, finances, whatever it is. It’s been unbelievable the amount that people have been able to give."