Iowans for Adoption celebrates 5th Annual Gingerbread Run/Walk

Cy posed with gingerbread mascot at the 2017 Gingerbread run/walk. 

Courtesy of Dr. Diane Lang

Cy posed with gingerbread mascot at the 2017 Gingerbread run/walk. 

Jordan Hamann

One non-profit organization aims to hit the ground running in celebration of adoption with their 5th annual Gingerbread Run/Walk.

Iowans for Adoption will be hosting its annual event at 1:30 p.m on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Ada Hayden Heritage Park in Ames.

Participants may register online by 11:59 p.m. this Sunday for the “early-bird” price. Otherwise, registration and packet pickup will begin an hour before the event, at 12:30 p.m.

Multiple organizations throughout the state have joined forces with Iowans for Adoption to host the event, the goal being to host a family-friendly event to celebrate both families who have adopted, birth parents who have placed a child for adoption and individuals who are adopted or waiting to be adopted.

“The deeper meaning behind the event at the beginning was to start the conversation about adoption and to educate the public,” said Diana Lang Baltimore, president and founder of Iowans for Adoption. “That had then morphed in to educating the public about the numbers of children placed in the foster care system, as well as change policy.” 

Special guests Meghan Hoyt and Rusty Johnson, board members for Iowans for Adoption, will be honored at the event. Both Hoyt and Johnson are adoptees, as well as Iowa State graduates. 

The event will feature a 5k run or walk as well as activities for kids and their families like face-painting, music, balloons, gifts, food, special guests and medals for runners in a variety of age categories.

The cost to register for the event is $30 for runners, $20 for walkers and $60 for a family of four walkers/spectators (plus an another $10 for each additional member).

All attendees will receive a free t-shirt. Everyone is welcome at the event whether walking, running or just spectating.

Iowans for Adoption supports adoption through education, research and collaboration.

The group serves families in the state of Iowa as a networking and advocacy forum “to promote adoption as a way to improve children’s and families’ overall well-being,” according to the release.

The group provides adoptive families with free materials, various speaking engagements, and grants for families going through the adoption process.

“If you know you can’t or don’t want to parent, then please, place that child in adoption so that child can have a chance at better life,” Lang Baltimore said.