This Sunday, the friends and family of late Delaware State Trooper Cpl. Stephen Ballard are sponsoring a 5K and “Kiddie K” in order to raise funds for the fallen trooper’s family.
“Being wives of state troopers and friends with Stephen Ballard and his family, Lauren Dukes and I wanted to come up with a way to help support Stephen’s family in their time of need,” said Morgan Albert, who is co-chairing the event with Dukes, and is a close friend of the Ballard family.
Ballard was shot and killed in the line of duty during a stop on a suspicious vehicle in Bear on April 26. He was 32 years old. The eight-year DSP veteran is survived by his wife, Louise Cummings, and a 5-year-old daughter.
“It was a tragic event for all of us who knew and loved Stephen. We wanted to keep his memory alive. I knew Stephen and what he felt in his heart. I know and remember what he did for everyone. He only wanted to give to others” said Albert.
Albert and Dukes have been working with Races2Run, a business that assists non-profit organizations raise money through running, walking and multisport events.
“What we were able to do is reach out to other partners we work with to come up with a location, a course,” said Barb Kursh, president of Races2Run. “We reached out to the Georgetown police. They were very, very interested in helping. I reached out to the owner of Arena’s at the Airport, and Ramsey [Schrader] was very willing to help donate his facility. He’s going to donate breakfast for everyone.”
The 5K will be held on Sunday, Aug. 20, with registration opening at 7:15 a.m. at Arena’s at the Airport in Georgetown.
Those who wish to participate may pre-register for the event online for $25 until Aug. 17. Day-of registration costs $30. The Kiddie K, for children 9 or younger, is free of charge. Those who wish to support the fundraiser but do not want to participate in the 5K may purchase post-race party tickets for $5.
For the fundraiser, Kursh said, Races2Run created a new flat course around the Georgetown area.
“We would love to make this an annual 5K in Stephen’s memory,” said Albert.
“We are hopeful many of the folks and police officers that he worked with will come support this event at Arena’s in Georgetown,” added Kursh.
The Kiddie K will start at 8 a.m., with the 5K race beginning at 8:15 a.m. All kids who finish the Kiddie K race will receive a medal. Awards will be given to the male and female overall and master’s winners, top three winners in 10-year age groups from 9 or younger, to 75 or older. The top three male and female walkers will also receive awards.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Cpl./1 Stephen J. Ballard Memorial Fund. The fund has been established at the Delaware State Police Federal Credit Union in the name of Ballard, and all proceeds will be given to his family. It is the only official memorial fund dedicated in his name.
“We would love to raise $5,000 for the inaugural event, after race expenses are paid,” said Kursh.
Sponsors for the inaugural memorial event include Arena’s Deli, NKS Distributors, the Georgetown Police Department and Delaware Coastal Airport.
Albert said she hopes the community will show their support of Ballard’s family by attending the 5K or donating directly to the memorial fund.
“It is important because of who Stephen was, and I don’t mean just a state trooper. Stephen had a great heart, and he only wanted to help others. So, I feel like it’s important to give back to his family.”
Arena’s at the Airport is located at 21553 Rudder Lane in Georgetown. For more information about the event or to pre-register, go to www.races2run.com. Those who wish to donate to the memorial fund may write checks out to the DSTA—Stephen Ballard Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 168, Cheswold, DE 19936.