Stacey Wiggins : “We want to honor our daughter and spread news that God is good.”
JENNIE McKEON @JennieMnwfdn
NICEVILLE — Stacey and Trae Wiggins are continuing their tradition of honoring their daughter with a charity run.
The inaugural run was held in 2015 to celebrate the first birthday of Rebecca Joy, who died when she was 3 months old in 2014. Every year the Wiggins celebrate Rebecca Joy’s birthday April 3 by giving back to the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida.
“We want to honor our daughter and spread news that God is good,” Stacey Wiggins said.
Since that first event, the Run for Joy 5k has raised almost $50,000 for Ronald McDonald House. The annual fundraiser gives meaning to Rebecca Joy’s life, Stacey said.
“Every parent wants their child to make a difference,” she said. “We are so grateful that she is being remembered.”
The Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida in Pensacola and provides a home away from home for families with children seeking medical care. It allows them to stay together without having to worry about cooking meals or cleaning.
The Wiggins family, which has grown to three boys ages 6, 2 and 1, enjoy celebrating Rebecca Joy. Stacey said she hopes the event is a positive day for anyone who may be hurting.
“Everyone lives hard lives,” she said. “But there is hope. We want to help those who may be suffering and let them know to keep on trucking.”
The Run for Joy 5k has become more than a race. It’s now an all-day event with an Easter egg hunt, food, silent auction and live music from Rockers for Life.
“It’s a celebration,” Stacey said. “Every day is a gift, even in tough times. It really is a great time.”
The Run for Joy 5k begins at 8:30 a.m. March 31 at First Baptist Church in Niceville at 622 Bayshore Drive. For more information, visit facebook.com/runforjoyinc or look for the race on active.com.