This year’s Umpqua Strong 9K and 5K Run/Walk will have a different process for dispersing funds, with the families of the victims being more involved.

The race raises money for charities in honor of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting in 2015.

Randi Feland, president of the Umpqua Stong board, said the money raised at the event will be split evenly among the nine families.

“They’ll decide for themselves where that money can be directed,” Feland said.

The money will still have to be given to a charitable organization, like a school or a scholarship fund. In years past, the money was given to United Way, the UCC Foundation and family foundations set up in honor of the victims.

The change was designed to give the families more input for how the money was distributed after the event. Some families had already set up trust funds, but now all of them will have the opportunity to be involved in giving money to charities they are passionate about.

“It lets them have more say, and lets them know we care about their family, and it seemed like the most appropriate thing to do,” Feland said.

If the family doesn’t want to pick an organization, the money will be sent to fund the UCC memorial scholarships.

Lynn McAllister, the secretary and treasurer of the Umpqua Strong board, said the event was established to bring the community together with a positive experience.

“It’s done what we hoped it would,” McAllister said. “It’s transformed hope and unity and determination for the whole Umpqua Valley.”

So far, more than 300 people have signed up for this year’s race. Last year, 942 people participated in the event. Feland said many register just two weeks before the event, so officials are confident they will get close to the same number as last year.

The race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Sept. 29 at Stewart Park. The 9K route will pass by the Gaddis Park fields into downtown. Then the route goes by Roseburg High School and under the Interstate 5 bridge along the freeway to Garden Valley Boulevard and past the duck pond near Fred Meyer before heading back to Stewart Park.

A kids race for children 12 and younger will be at 11:15 a.m. and start at Stewart Park. Remote running is also available, where people can support the cause by logging their run/walk online.

After the events, a noon concert featuring former American Idol contestant Colton Dixon will take place in the park.

For information, see www.umpquastrong.org.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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