Charity fun run for Chace Topperwien foundation

By Sonya Bateson

Memories of Chace Topperwien will be brought back with a sea of yellow T-shirts at the Whakatane Chace'em Fun Run.

Hamilton-based Keri and Ryan Topperwien have organised the Whakatane Chace'em Fun Run 2013 to raise money for the Dream Chaser Foundation - begun in memory of their 3-year-old son Chace who died in June last year after a long battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.

The couple aim to raise funds for children with cancer and other ills, and help their families cope with the ongoing treatment.

This will be the first major event Keri and Ryan have held in Whakatane since the inception of the charity - and they're looking forward to meeting their supporters in the town they still call home.

"We consider Whakatane as home so we wanted to do something here. We had a lot of people support us here through Chace's journey and we want to thank everyone for their support and ask for their support again with our charity," said Ryan.

He said the Hamilton fun run held last year was just a rehearsal for the real event in Whakatane.

"We didn't want to stuff it up in Whakatane so we trialled it there."

The fun run will be held this Saturday beginning at the Mataatua Reserve, where there will be a bouncy castle, a zorb and jousting set up. The 8km run goes along the riverbank to the Whakatane Bridge and back. There are also 4km and 2km versions of the run.

Ryan said they chose the riverbank route because it was an easy one, and parents could even choose to push their children along it.

It was hoped people would take advantage of an event registration special on Dream Chaser T-shirts and turn up to the run wearing them.

"Yellow ... was Chace's favourite colour, the Dream Chaser T-shirt was one of his favourites - we have so many photos of him wearing the bright yellow with a big, happy smile on his face. Seeing people wearing the T-shirts will remind us of our boy and how happy he was - it's one more way to keep his memory alive for us."

Other events were also in the pipeline. Ryan said they would be meeting at the end of this month to plan some more fundraisers, including a charity fight night.

"We've got some big goals. We want to be able to support as much people as we can - to do that we need money, so we need events and other fundraisers to support those people. It's hard because a lot of people going through this find it hard to ask for help."

The fun run will start at 10am. Activities, raffles and spot prizes will be held at the reserve until 2pm.

The 2km kids fun run/walk costs $5 per person for those aged 12 and under, the 2km, 4km, 8km adults fun run/walk costs $25 (students with ID $15) or register online and pay $20. Add an official Dream Chaser Tee for only $20 (usually $29.95).

Visit for more information.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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