Mark Your Calendar for Final Elorapalooza
Jun 30, 2018 11:48AM
By Marcie Barlow
Elorapalooza 13 will take place on Sunday, July 15, at North Park Lodge. The 5K/1-mile walk, run or lollygag, as it is affectionately called, is held in memory of Elora Geier, a North Hills’ resident who overcame numerous challenges in her 14 years.
Elora was struck by a car when she was just 2 years old, and as a result, she spent several months in a body cast. She also suffered severe head trauma, and her parents, Dan and Leslie Geier, were told that she would never be able to walk or talk.
“Every time the professionals told us that Elora would not be able to do something, she surprised all of us and reached that milestone,” said Dan Geier, who serves as the race director. “They told us she would never speak, walk without assistance and more, and she accomplished all of those things and entered first grade with her peers.
“In spite of the challenges she encountered, Elora was always determined to do her best,” he added.
According to Geier, Elora was a cheerful girl who always acknowledged the good in everyone. She competed in her first 5K event at age 10, and in spite of her physical challenges she persevered, completing the event and raising her hands in victory as she crossed the finish line.
After completing that first event, Elora entered and completed six more 5K events over the next three years. Sadly, she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in the fall of 2005 and passed away in April 2006.
“Following Elora’s death, we established Elora’s H.O.P.E. (Helping Others Persevere and Endure) and Elorapalooza as a way to channel our grief in a positive way,” said Geier. “Elora was always so encouraging to everyone she met that we felt this was the best way to honor her memory. In the face of adversity, she always tried a little harder and dug a little deeper and exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
Since its inception, Elorapalooza has raised more than $185,000, which has been used to support blood cancer research, scholarship funds, and grants to cover nonmedical needs of cancer patients and their families. It is a huge undertaking for the Geier family, and sadly, this year’s event will be the last.
“As Elora’s brothers and sister have grown up and moved away, the logistics of hosting Elorapalooza has become too much for our family,” said Geier. “We will continue to operate Elora’s H.O.P.E. and host several smaller events each year. In addition, we will continue to award scholarships to college students pursuing degrees in special education as these professionals were instrumental in Elora’s development following her accident.”
To learn more about Elora’s H.O.P.E. and Elorapalooza, visit www.elorashope.org.