Runners with big hearts participate in Hearts for Hope

Mitchell Thorp Foundation Hearts for Hope 5K Run/Walk


Jake Saftig

Runners gather at the starting line on Saturday at the Mitchell Thorp Foundation Charity Run. These runners are running to raise money for the foundation and their illness research.

Kaitlyn Olivier, Staff Writer

On Sat. Feb. 6, citizens gathered in Carlsbad to support the Mitchell Thorp Foundation in the Hearts for Hope 5K Run/Walk. Children and adults of all ages participated in the run to support children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, disorders and diseases through the gift of emotional and financial support.

The foundation was inspired by the son of Brad and Beth Thorp, Mitchell, who fought a five-year battle with an undiagnosed illness. Students at CHS created the Mitchell Thorp Foundation Club to encourage support for children like Mitchell.

“I wanted to become the president of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation Club because ever since 7th grade I’ve been closely involved with the organization and have been on the Junior Advisory Board,” senior and club President Lindsay Nipper said. “I really wanted to help promote everything the foundation stands for at the student and school level.”

A diagnosis for Mitchell’s illness had remained undiscovered and he passed away on Nov. 19, 2008. Mitchell’s spirit lives on in the hopeful efforts to bring comfort and safety to those fighting diseases similar to that of Mitchell’s, as well as to children suffering from different illnesses.

“I believe the club is beneficial to the Carlsbad High community because it raises awareness of some illnesses children are suffering through and how well we have it,” Nipper said.

Runners were encouraged to check into the event at 8:30 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. race. Sign-ups were welcome the day of the event, and participants were given the option to register for the race as an individual runner or as a member of a team. Teams were formed to support patients diagnosed with various illnesses in the hopes of raising money to find a cure. Southern California schools were also eligible to enter the race to fundraise money for their respective schools.

“I think people wish to participate in the 5K because everyone in the Carlsbad community is really caring and we all look out for each other, ” Nipper said. “It’s just a great way to support people who are in a time of hardship.”

The first 500 finishers in the race received medals and t-shirts, and the first three runners in each age bracket were also given medals. Special prizes were awarded for Top Team Fundraiser and Top Individual Fundraiser for both the youth and the adult age brackets. Kids ages 5-10 had unique recognition as well, earning awards for the quickest completion of timed obstacles.

With a fundraising goal of $140,000, the Mitchell Thorp Foundation represented a great cause for the advancement of the scientific discovery of treatments and cures.

“My favorite part about the Hearts for Hope 5K was seeing the community gather to support this great organization,” senior Keegan Alston said.