Bexley News

Jack Roth Rock N' Run

Benefit race remains a community effort

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Maddy Katz volunteers to gather raffle items for the annual Jack Roth Rock N' Run.
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At 15 years old, Maddy Katz's weekly volunteer agenda is more extensive than most other high schoolers' cellphone logs.

Over the last six years, she's committed thousands of hours to organizing fundraisers, spreading awareness about autism, collecting donations for Haiti's hurricane relief fund, visiting nursing homes and writing cards to patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"My life motto is help others before yourself," said Katz, a freshman at Westerville's Oakstone Academy. "It's nice to do stuff that make other people happy."

The young philanthropist who lives in Bexley said she first got hooked on volunteering at the Jack Roth Rock N' Run. She collects items for the raffle at the annual 5K, which takes off from Bexley High School at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 9.

The eighth annual race benefits the Jack Roth Fund, which raises money in memory of Roth, who lost his nine-month battle with lung cancer in 2005. The race proceeds will benefit lung cancer research through the Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Center, and assist Camp Netaim, a camp for special-needs children in Israel.

To date, the race that is family-, pet- and stroller-friendly has raised $600,000.

"I like to do anything I can, obviously, to give back to the fund, but raising money for the special-needs kids in Israel was a big passion for my dad," said Maren Roth, who along with her mother, Janice, founded the Jack Roth Fund in 2006.

Maren Roth said hosting a race was never a second thought because her father was an avid runner. The event got its name from the rock music that he loved to listen to, she said.

Jack Roth's favorites, ranging from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen, will be among the songs played by a disc jockey who will entertain the runners and walkers along the course. Following the 5K, there will be a Max's Kids Track Dash.

For the second year, Rock N' Run will feature what Maren Roth calls a marketplace with food trucks that will hand out free food, an Urban Moves stretching station, yoga sessions hosted by Yoga on High, and bounce houses, face painting and balloon animals for children. Lulu Lemon will be there to hand out headbands; astrologer Tony Clark will do readings; and 11 Athletics will distribute its health magazine. Ohio State University also will have an informational table.

"We're really trying to make it more of a community event," Maren Roth said. "We want to make it so that people want to stay after the race and so people who maybe didn't want to walk or run who were volunteering could hang around and have a good time, too."

Maddy invites anyone to stop by the raffle table to meet her and check out the $1,000 worth of items, gift cards and experiences up for grabs. She said she was most proud to acquire a Columbus Clippers baseball raffle package that includes premium seats and an opportunity to go onto the field.

Race registration is $25 and includes a race-day T-shirt designed by Homage, breakfast and an OSU backpack filled with coupons and samples from local businesses, including sunglasses provided by Maren Roth's Short North clothing boutique, Rowe.

To register for the race, create a personal fundraising page or learn more about donating to the Jack Roth Fund, visit jackrothfund.org.

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