The Princess Warrior 5K Run, Walk, Roll, Stroll or Crawl is going virtual this year with “Jane-like” energy spread throughout the month of September.
“We just hope that we can utilize the month to create a fun Jane-like, positive energy that will in no way replace what would have happened on the 26th but hopefully in light of everything else going on it’ll be awesome despite that,” said Jil Fiemeyer. “Our kids are still being diagnosed and kids are still fighting cancer, so a pandemic doesn’t stop that. It’s still important for us as a committee to not take the year off either because our kiddos can’t take the year off.”
Since the 5K honors children with cancer, who have immune compromised systems, Jil said their safety along with the community’s was paramount.
Participants can complete the 5K any day in September and share their photos, videos or experiences on the Princess Warrior Facebook page. You might even consider doing the 5K or a portion of it on Jane’s birthday, Sept. 27. Health updates on children with cancer honored at previous events may also be on the page.
Registration is $20, which includes a Princess Warrior T-shirt designed by Wadena resident Lori Kneisl. T-Shirts can be mailed or picked up at one of the pick-up days as follows:
Order in by Sept. 1, pick up on Sept. 15;
Order in by Sept. 11, pick up on Sept. 25;
Order in by Sept. 27, pick up on Oct. 10.
When picking up your shirt you can also purchase items from the “Jane store” like a keychain, coffee or kettle corn with a unicorn flavor.
There are still various ways the community can be involved in raising awareness about childhood cancer, such as decorating your yard or sharing a Facebook post regardless of whether you do the 5K or not, as Jil said.
One of Jane’s sisters, Anna, is also making Princess Warrior keychains which can be purchased for $10. With the supplies covered by an anonymous donation, the entire proceeds will go towards arts and crafts supplies purchased locally for children at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
“The last thing she (Jane) wanted to do before leaving the hospital was go back into the art room one last time and created her last art piece and labelled it as such, which was and is hard to think about how she just embraced that, and that was so powerful for Anna that starting a couple years ago she does an art project,” Jil said. “It’s fun to do something that Jane loves so much.”
Out of Anna’s goal of 100 keychains, she has sold 63, according to Jil.
Owly Coffee Company and Canoe Paddle Kettle Corn will also be raising money this month along with other businesses; make sure to watch the Princess Warrior Facebook page.
“It comes back to this community just keeps showing itself that through everything that it goes through it just is always there for one another,” Jil said.
While Jil and the committee thought the 5K had every condition possible with rain, wind and snow in past years, this year brought the pandemic.
“Every year is just as unique as Jane and as unique as our cancer kiddos, and so just make the best of it,” Jil said. “They (pediatric oncology patients) take what’s handled to them and they act with kindness and resiliency and just more courage than I’ve ever had. And so that’s hopefully what the Princess Warrior virtual event emulates, is it takes what these young kids are modeling to us and models that out to the community.”