SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – This weekend you’re encouraged to find your most festive holiday costume and help spread cheer while raising money for a good cause.
Eastyn Traupel is 9 and a half years old. As a kid who likes playing sports, youth arthritis limits some of what he can do.
“I do archery and baseball now, I used to do wrestling and baseball and football, but football and wrestling is not going very good with my joints,” youth honoree, Eastyn Traupel said.
In second grade he found out he had youth arthritis. This years he’s sharing his story as he’s the youth honoree for the Jingle Bell Run at Fawick Park in Sioux Falls.
“My favorite part about the Jingle Bell Run is dressing up and coming out here with my friends and family and getting donations to help get more supporters and help more people understand what it is,” Traupel said.
The Jingle Bell Run is an 5K fun run and 1 mile walk.
Taylor Van Emmerik is the lead coordinator of the event.
“It raises money for the Arthritis Foundation to continue to provide resources, research, and a sense of community to those suffering from arthritis,” lead coordinator Jingle Bell Run, Taylor Van Emmerik said.
It’s an organization that hits close to home, as Van Emmerick was diagnosed with youth arthritis at age 9.
“The Arthritis Foundation was really the one that got me involved in the community, I didn’t understand what arthritis was before I was diagnosed, and the Arthritis Foundation really helped me understand what my diagnosis was and meet a bunch of people that helped me get through it,” Van Emmerick said.
Right now about 135 people are signed up, and Van Emmerick expects that number to grow.
“Doing activities like this can help make sure we get that awareness out to people and help them through their journey as well,” Van Emmerick said.
Day of registration starts at 8:00 on Saturday, with a program starting at 8:30 and the race at 9:00 at Fawick Park.