Bunny Hop, model search to raise funds for Brain Aneurysm Foundation

ST. MARYS – Several area residents have once again teamed up to raise money for The Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Not only is the second annual Bunny Hop 5K scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 7 at Benzinger Park in St. Marys, but Carly Frank is also competing in the Maurices Main Street Model Search. Any proceeds raised will benefit The Brain Aneurysm Foundation. According to Frank, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation does not have a local office and is based out of Massachusetts; however, the organization has provided a great deal of support and information for her family after her mother suffered a brain aneurysm. "The Brain Aneurysm Foundation has been very helpful in the past two years," Frank said. "Whenever my mother was in the hospital, we used that website to answer all of our questions pertaining to aneurysms. We were not very familiar with them at that point in time. It gave us peace of mind and hope from many of the stories shared on the website. That was the main reason for our using the website, mostly as an educational source. Once our mother had passed, we felt as if we needed to give back. We wanted to warn and educate everybody in the community about these traumatic events, and we knew that our mom would want to help others do the same." In an effort to promote awareness, last year Carly and her sister Taylor joined together with Rachel, Michael, and Daniel Paladino, who also lost their mother due to a brain aneurysm, and started the Bunny Hop 5K. The event is held in memory of Becky Frank, Sue Ellen Paladino, Mag Pauline, and Jane Hnath. "We raised over $10,000 last year, and of course we would love to do the same or even better [this year]," Frank said. "Our participants and support during the Bunny Hop have been phenomenal. Our community has been more than supportive, and thrived at participating within this event."Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m., with participants having the option to walk or run the route. The walk begins at 9 a.m. and the run gets under way at 10 a.m. Everyone sets out from the Vine Road side of Benzinger Park. "The route is the same as last year. We will just be putting out a map a lot sooner than last year's mapped route," Frank said. She noted that the only difference this year is that individuals are asked to register online at http://bafound.donorpages.com/bunnyhop12/, whereas participants mailed in forms last year. There is a fee to participate, with a T-shirt guaranteed for all those who register by March 26. Online registration closes on April 5. Frank is also attempting to raise additional funds for The Brain Aneurysm Foundation through Maurices Main Street Model Search, which will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of the competition's 12 winners. Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, March 14, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.