BILLINGS — About 1,400 runners and walkers laced up at Pioneer Park in Billings Saturday for the sixth annual United LUV Glow Run.
The Glow Run raises money for United LUV, a Billings non-profit organization that works to give Ipads to kids that have extended stays in the hospital.
The 5K/ 2-mile run started and ended in Pioneer Park, with runners making their way through lighted archways upon their return.
"It was a great turn out the first year and every year it just gets a little bigger and a little bigger,” said United LUV Director Vicki Eaton.
United LUV was originally a t-shirt company started by Billings-native Ryan Eaton. After he passed away from a battle with cancer at the age of 25, his mom Vicki and her family worked to turn Ryan's t-shirt company into a non-profit.
"As he went through treatment, he saw a lot of kids going through it alone," Eaton said. "Ryan said you know what, I still want to do my t-shirt business but I want to give back. Because we saw so many kids that didn’t have any family, and they didn’t have an I pad or Iphone. And he said, this is just so sad. So he said I want to do something to help."
Over its six year existence, United LUV has been able to donate 422 I pads to kids. And it's not just cancer treatment centers that the group has been able to help.
“Speech therapy clinics know us now and call us when they need an I pad for a child to learn how to communicate through the app that they have," said Eaton.
The idea to have the Glow Run came from Ryan's cousin, who at the time was a senior at Senior High. Ryan's cousin organized the run as part of her platinum project.
"She said I’m going to do something really fun because Ryan was a graphic design artist and he was kind of crazy," Eaton said. "And she said I’ve got to do something different. So, this is what she came up with."
If you would like to make a donation or volunteer with United Love visit their website by clicking here.