The Beacon of Hope Foundation was founded by Wellington residents Andrea and Kevin Enterlein after Kevin was diagnosed with colon cancer. During his battle with the disease, he noticed how so many families must make financial sacrifices to battle cancer.
The foundation’s mission is to help financially support families in need while a loved one battles cancer in one of its many forms. It is a mission that Andrea Enterlein is now continuing in Kevin’s memory.
Beacon of Hope’s 5K run/walk scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 12 at Tiger Shark Cove Park will serve as the first community-wide fundraising event hosted by the charity.
“Since it was such a passion for him, and of course because my children lost their father and I lost my husband, it gives us strength to go ahead,” Andrea said. “It was such a passion for him that he wanted to do it. He couldn’t because he didn’t have the time, so our first big event is what this first 5K is going to be.”
Pre-registration is available at www.runsignup.com for $25 up until Oct. 31, and then it becomes $35 through the day of the event. Registration the day of the event begins at 6:30 a.m. The starting gun will go off at 7:30 a.m. There will be live entertainment provided by DJ Super Mario, face painting, food, water and more. Children younger than 13 can run or walk free of charge. The event is chip timed, but those under 13 will not receive a chip timer.
“I’m trying to make it fun, too,” Andrea said. “After the race, I don’t want people just to leave.”
Andrea runs the foundation with her children, Kevin and Melissa. They will be the directors at the event held in memory of their husband and father, who lost his battle with cancer last November.
“I could have gone to different running facilities, but I chose to stay in Wellington because it is our home, my kids grew up here and we started here,” Andrea said. “It’s all truly a Wellington community-based fundraiser.”
She holds the community close to her heart and fondly recalls the life their family shared together in Wellington.
“It’s our hometown. We saw Wellington grow from 26 years ago,” Andrea said. “[Kevin] started from the business office at Wellington Regional Medical Center when it first really opened up, and we’ve seen that facility grow.”
Mayor Anne Gerwig was given the honor of being master of ceremonies for the event, and she hopes to participate in the run/walk as well.
“I hope people get signed up. When something is new, sometimes it takes a while to get the word out,” Gerwig said. “I think it is a competitive run, so I won’t be in the competitive portion, but it’s a great thing to do locally together.”
Gerwig believes that the charity’s mission is something that the community has not seen and is truly welcome.
“There is a lot that happens. It’s not just about what kind of insurance you have. It’s about the needs that the families have,” Gerwig said. “We have some great charities that support families when children have cancer, but this Beacon of Hope is going to help all families.”
Boynton Financial Group is among the sponsors of the run/walk. President Ben Boynton said Kevin brought inspiration to everyone he met through his own personal actions and as someone who found personal fitness to be very important.
“He was always running. His idea of fun was to get up before most people ever thought of getting up and running,” Boynton said. “He spent many years of his life exercising and staying fit, and that was really important to him and the family.”
Boynton said this stayed true to Kevin and his family even after his diagnosis of colon cancer.
“What was phenomenal about Kevin was he always, just always stayed as fit as he could be,” Boynton said. “He was one of these people if you saw him on the street, you would never have any idea that anything was wrong. It was just a different type of inspiration, and he was inspiring to people.”
Boynton is glad to see the event being staged in the Wellington community.
“It was suggested to hold the race at various places around Palm Beach County and other venues, and it was really important to [Andrea], and I think it’s really important to all those who are supporting it, that it’s going to be held in Wellington,” Boynton said. “It’s going to be held on the same roads that he would run on.”
Along with Boynton Financial Group, other sponsors include Wellington Regional Medical Center, Palms West Hospital, Allstate, Palm Beach Urology and Core Evolution.
Core Evolution’s Wellington location is offering donation classes up until the event. You don’t have to be a member to take a class, and all the money donated goes to Beacon of Hope. Call (561) 345-4446 or visit www.coreevolutionpb.com to learn more.
For more information about the upcoming 5K or about Beacon of Hope, call Andrea Enterlein at (561) 603-0835.
“It was just such a passion of his. He lived it. He saw the cost of the chemotherapy and the radiation, and what happens to people who don’t have insurance,” she said. “Just by starting something like this, hopefully, we can help some people with it.”