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Dust off those running shoes — Helen P. Lee Fun Run set for June 2 at library

Youngsters and young-at-heart spectators will enjoy the Helen P. Lee Fun Run at Madison Public Library on June 2.

Madison Friends of the Library are hosting the fifth annual event, in memory of former branch manager Helen P. Lee.

Open to the public, the free event “is a multi-faceted celebration of the Fun Run, Madison Public Library’s birthday and kick of the summer reading program,” Friends president Stephenie Walker said. In past years, as many as 100 children have participated.

The shorter version of the run is divided by age groups: stroller run for parents with infants, toddler dash, preschool run, grades K-1, grades 2-3 and children older than eight years.

Sign-up for the fun run will start at 7:50 a.m., with the race taking off at 8:20 a.m. “From 9 to 11 a.m., we’ll celebrate Madison Public Library’s 15th birthday inside with a gorgeous, book-themed birthday cake by Kindasweet Cakes,” Walker said.

Other amusements will include face art by Gabrielle’s Face Painting, live music by Chad Zolynsky and wacky-and-wet relay races led by Nesin Therapy Services.

All runners will receive ribbons. First-place winners in each category will receive a gift certificate to the Friends of the Library Bookstore.

To facilitate the run, parents can confirm that their youngsters wear comfortable clothes and running shoes (no sandals allowed) and stay hydrated. “Bring sunscreen and your camera,” Walker said.

The race recognizes Lee, who served as Madison branch manager for “five thriving years before losing her battle with cancer in 2008,” Walker said. “Helen loved the library and was an avid runner. She left behind a lasting legacy for staff and patrons alike.”

Lee’s friends and colleagues celebrate her memory every day, especially in June during the annual fun run. To honor her, friends and co-workers established the Helen P. Lee Memorial Endowment. Individuals can mail donations to Huntsville Library Foundation, P.O. Box 443, Huntsville AL 35804.

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