ST. MARYS — COVID-19 didn't “stop the hop” this year, as families, survivors and individuals gathered to run and raise funds for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation Saturday, April 3.

The 11th annual Bunny Hop 5K for Brain Aneurysm Awareness, held at Benzinger Park in St. Marys the day before Easter each year, includes a 3.2-mile walk and Youth Fun Run, said Taylor Grimm, raising $15,000.

Grimm, who lost her mother to a brain aneurysm rupture, said the family has made it their mission to spread awareness and education.

"We are thrilled with the outcome, despite COVID," said Grimm. "All were respectful and followed the rules well."

The pre-Easter race drew in around 225 participants, said Grimm, noting some travel quite a distance to participate.

“We had many survivors come,” said Grimm. “It was wonderful!”

Grimm's sister, Carly Frank, said COVID-19 has significantly impacted nonprofit organizations such as the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, just one of the reasons it's important to still support them.

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"What an amazing turnout after the pandemic," said Frank. "Our community never ceases to amaze me — every year they show up and help raise awareness and show continued support."

"Seeing the survivors interact and be with their support systems makes my heart happy."

Each year, the race is not just about raising funds, but people coming together to support one another, Frank said.

"We have all struggled this year to feel a sense of support and cohesion, and looking out amongst the hoppers, all I could see was comfort and a full heart for all those participating," said Frank.

"Financial contributions are amazing, but the fact that hopefully someday we can educate all of the surrounding counties on awareness is our ultimate goal. Someday, with the help of doctors and researchers, we will 'stop the pop.'"

For more information, visit www.give.bafound.org.

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