T- Rex costumed racers at Grants Pass Downs for a cause

MEDFORD, Ore. – Sunday at the Grants Pass Downs, a local non-profit put the ‘fun’ back in fundraising, by hosting a T-Rex Race.

During the Grants Pass Downs horse races Sunday, spectators might have caught a glimpse of 40 people getting dressed up in T-Rex costumes.

The Rex on the Rogue is a foot race where registered runners become Jurassic joggers for a good cause.

It all started when Terry Hopkins sadly lost his five-year old son, Kaden, to cancer.

Kaden, he says, loved dinosaurs.

Hopkins said, “if he was here with us today seeing this, he would’ve had the biggest smile on his face, he might be running but he would definitely be happy to see this.”

That’s when Grants Pass Kiwanis started a program named after Hopkin’s son, called Kaden’s Kids.

Grants Pass Kiwanis’ Lonnie Johnson says, it’s aimed at helping families who have children diagnosed with cancer, pay for expenses like gas and lodging when traveling outside Josephine County for treatment.

Johnson said, “these kids stand a good chance if they can get to Doernbecher’s or Asante. We give them the money to be able to do it and not have to worry about what it’s going to cost to get there or where they’re going to stay on the other end, it lets them focus on the children.”

One child who was receiving help from Kaden’s Kids, got their hair cut at Tucker’s Barbershop in Grants Pass, where Laurel Tucker felt inspired to hold a fundraiser, in the form of a T-Rex race.

She says she’s excited at the first race’s turnout and hopes there will be more to come.

Tucker said, “seeing the people in our community just be excited about it and be so willing to participate… It wasn’t hard to find 40 people to run, let’s put it that way.”

The relay race had each runner sprinting 50 yards.

Because of the poor air quality, they were only able to race twice and shut down the rest of the races, but racers like Thomas Ryan says it was still worth it.

Ryan said, “to be out here and see everybody come together as one and put smiles on people’s faces, that’s all its about for me man. That’s what it is.”

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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