Bryan and Janice Langford want everyone to know that in this life there is hope. The Langfords have been working tirelessly to connect the hurting to the helping and on Saturday, May 18, the couple will again host Justin’s Run 4 Hope.
The day includes a race and celebration of life to showcase the various organizations and charities that assist people in need.
In May 2014, the Langford’s son, Justin, passed away in a tragic accident. He was 23.
Bryan said, “We began to think about who Justin was and how he lived his life. We started organizing our thoughts around him and we saw that there were several very important things to him. These were the things that made him who he was and encompassed how he lived and served others.
Justin was a dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. He loved being outdoors and walking the trails in Zionsville. He was also an organ donor and his gifts included organs, bone, tissue and cornea donations. Justin loved and followed Jesus Christ. In Jesus, Justin had peace. Education was a top priority in his life, he loved engineering.”
After the Langfords had built their list, they realized it spelled H.O.P.E. Bryan said, “We did not have an acronym in mind — it just kind of happened that way — but hope is what really made Justin so special and that he lived his life with such purpose, we can continue that legacy.”
Justin’s Run 4 Hope is an all ages event and multi-tiered race. There is 3.6-mile run/walk a 1 mile walk and a quarter mile kids’ dash. All proceeds from the race go directly to the Foundation of Hope and Justin David Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The Foundation of Hope 501 c3 has funded scholarships for students at Zionsville Community High School and Vanderbilt University.
“Justin was a lifelong learner and enjoyed school,” Janice said.
Bryan added: “The scholarship is more than a transaction. It is a relationship that we build and keep pouring into. We have meals with the students and Janice sends them care packages during final week. We want them to know they are loved and valued. Justin was that kid who was a friend to everyone, this is how we honor that part of his life.”
The Justin David Memorial Scholarship fund is a one-time scholarship given to a senior at ZCHS committed to studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM). The Foundation also sponsors a four-year scholarship for a STEM student at Vanderbilt University. The Foundation has given over $225,000 in funding to students since 2015 and expects to have exceeded $250,000 by the end of 2019.
After the race, Hope Fest will be held at the New Hope Christian Church in Whitestown. The event will include a variety of booths to help create awareness around community needs and connect people to opportunities.
“This is a celebration for life, a day when people can connect with one another and experience hope," Bryan said. "Each day hope exists in both big and little ways. We know that everyone can do something to help another but often people don’t realize how to get involved.”
Donate Life and the Indiana Donor Network will be onsite as will Habitat for Humanity, So Big maternity home and Changing Footprints.
“This list does not include everyone who will be there, but just a few," Bryan said. "There will be many great organizations on site. The purpose is to help connect people. It will be a fun day for families to share. In this day, it is easy to see the sadness of the world we live in but, we believe as a community we can give light to the world and share the love of Jesus Christ and that is eternal hope.”
For more information or to register go to Justin’sRun4Hope.com.
Entry fees vary based on race, at $35 for the 3.5 mile; $25 for the 1 mile walk, and $10 for the dash.
Registration is not required but suggested, with online registration closing May 17.
Walkup registration and packet pickup will be Friday, May 17 at the Athletic Annex in Nora Plaza 1300 E 86th Street.
New Hope Christian Church is at 5780 South Main Street in Whitestown.