By Madeline Coats Capes for Courage, an annual Bothell 5K, celebrates the superhuman powers within each special needs person. Now in its sixth year, the event will start and end at the Northshore Health and Wellness Center in Bothell on Saturday, Aug. 7. Race funds benefit the Northshore Wranglers Inclusion Program, which supports individuals of all ages and abilities. “It isn’t just easy to be somebody who has special needs,” parent volunteer Rebecca Gerhardt said. “You have to be fairly brave and fearless to really live that life. It can be hard.” The nonprofit offers classes and events that focus on social connections with peers and learning opportunities. It can be difficult for special needs individuals to maintain friendship connections after high school, she said, so the Wranglers provide a way for participants to continue seeing their friends. Gerhardt said her daughter has been in the language program since sixth grade. Now 26, she has been able to form solid, lifelong friendships with other people in the organization, she said. The nonprofit provides a “supportive environment for everybody,” she said, especially parents and caregivers.
“These are people who are fearless in their life,” she said. “The people who support them are heroic, too. It takes a lot to both live it and support it.” According to Gerhardt, this 5K is the only fundraising event for the year-round program. The nonprofit relies heavily on making the race a success, she said, so having a good turnout is very important to the program. For those not wanting to partake in the 5K, there will be an option for a one-mile walk or run. Gerhardt said the race can also be completed virtually. To register for the race, visithttps://runsignup.com/Race/WA/Bothell/Bothell5K