Run with the nuns

Franciscan Rhythms 5K Trail Run & Walk supports music therapy program
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Nuns participate in the event to benefit a music therapy program at the Franciscan Rhythms 5K Trail Run & Walk in Lowell. Courtesy photo.

A 5K run to benefit a music therapy program at Franciscan Life Process Center of Lowell is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7. The ninth annual Franciscan Rhythms 5k Run and Walk gives participants a chance to run with nuns. The organization’s goal is to raise $30,000 for its music therapy scholarship fund, which helps cover the cost of services for families and individuals when medical insurance will not.

“The Franciscan Life Process Center is dedicated to helping individuals unlock their fullest potential with music therapy and other services as they journey through the process of life,” said Center Director Sandy Koteskey. “While our music therapy program has grown over the years, so has the need.

Franciscan Rhythms 5K Trail Run & Walk start and finish. Courtesy photo.

“We’re now serving approximately 500 clients each week. Proceeds from this fun event will help ensure we can continue to provide music therapy to all who would benefit from it.”

The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist pioneered music therapy in West Michigan in 1978, long before it was a widely recognized therapy method. Today, the Franciscan Life Process Center specializes in music therapy services at both its Lowell and Grand Rapids campuses and in various community settings.

The Center employs board-certified music therapists who use research-based techniques to customize goals and objectives for all of their clients. A typical music therapy session may include listening and moving to music, singing, playing instruments and composing music.

“From improving speech development and motor coordination to addressing anxiety and depression, our music therapy services have helped hundreds of children and adults improve their quality of life,” Koteskey said. “Whether you participate in our Trail Run, sponsor a runner or become an individual donor, we are truly grateful for the support of this program.”

The all-ages and fitness-levels event takes place on a scenic path on the center’s rural Lowell campus, located at 11650 Downes St. NE. The Franciscan sisters live on and manage the 230-acre farm with wooded land, open fields and valleys that are open to the community.

Musician perform in several areas along the 5k course. Courtesy photo.

A variety of live music stations featuring opera, Irish, rock and folk music will be spread out along the trail route to motivate and inspire participants. Coffee and freshly baked cinnamon rolls made by the sisters will also be provided.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at noon. In addition to the 5K, a short fun run for children will be offered. A virtual option is also available for individuals who cannot attend on Oct. 7, but still want to run or walk the route another time and support the cause.

Event registration costs $35 and will be available online until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 at RunSignUp.com/TrailRun2023. Same-day registration will be offered on-site from 7:45-8:45 a.m. for $40.

Individuals can also make a tax-deductible donation to support the center.

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