Photos courtesy of Dana Leigh Photography

Special to Iredell Free News

The 12th Annual Timmy Belcher Memorial Rainbow Kidz Ride & Run raised $33,000 to support grieving children in Iredell County.

Some 260 people participated in the annual event, which benefits Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County’s Rainbow Kidz Program.

Cyclists chose from a 35- or 60-mile bike ride and enjoyed a scenic ride through North Iredell County. Runners and walkers chose a 10K or 5K race through beautiful neighborhoods of Statesville. And more than 40 children ran in the Fun Run, complete with race bibs decorated in memory of someone special in their lives.

This was new Hospice CEO Mike Smith’s first time at the event.

“It was wonderful to see such a great turnout! I am grateful to our staff, volunteers, and community for making this a really special day of honoring Timmy, the Belcher family, and supporting our Rainbow Kidz program,” he said.

Sponsors include the Statesville Family YMCA, Raymer Oil/Fast Phils, Randy Marion Statesville, New York Life Foundation, Dellinger Precast, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Hexpol, Revelation Spinal Care, Good Year, Kewaunee, Mooresville Graded Schools, Fraternal Order of Police #10, and Outback Steakhouse.

“We are so very grateful for all the participants, sponsors, HPCIC staff and volunteers who helped make the 12th Annual Timmy Belcher Memorial Rainbow Kidz Ride & Run a huge success,” said Leigh Ann Darty, Rainbow Kidz Director. “We are honored to be able to carry on Timmy Belcher’s legacy through this event. We loved partnering with the Statesville YMCA, who were very gracious in offering their space at no cost. We cannot do this essential work without all the support we receive from our community. We want to thank each of you for making such a positive difference in the lives of our grieving children and families to ensure that no child grieves alone.” 

Rainbow Kidz supports children dealing with the loss of a loved one. Offering grief groups in all I-SS and MGSD Schools, Rainbow Kidz continues to teach students healthy coping skills to understand their grief better. One-on-one support is also available, and the team is now gearing up for the 2022 Camp Rainbow in June.

All Rainbow Kidz services are provided at no cost.

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