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home : community : e-community August 16, 2022

8/5/2022 9:32:00 AM
Kandace Helms Memorial Five-K Is Sept. 10
Annual running event memorializes beloved mother, friend to all
This year’s Kandace Helms Memorial Five-K is Sept. 10.
This year’s Kandace Helms
Memorial Five-K is Sept. 10.
(Top 2 Rows): Smiling folks such as these happy participants were on hand at last year’s Kandace Helms Memorial Five-K event.
(Bottom Row): This memorial plaque is a fitting tribute to Helms.
(Photos courtesy of Amy Fincannon and the Kandace Helms Foundation)

(Top 2 Rows): Smiling folks such as
these happy participants were on
hand at last year’s Kandace Helms
Memorial Five-K event.

(Bottom Row): This memorial plaque
is a fitting tribute to Helms.

(Photos courtesy of Amy Fincannon and the
Kandace Helms Foundation)

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

LINCOLNTON––The Kandace Helms Memorial Five-K event is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The place to be is Betty Ross Park at 800 Madison St. in Lincolnton, according to event spokeswoman Amy Fincannon. This sixth annual event starts with a kids’ fun run at 8 a.m. Registration for this ends Sept. 7. The timed five-kilometer (just more than three miles) race starts at 8:30 a.m. Registration for this is $30 per participant, and the fee increases after Aug. 31. Same-day registration will also be available, starting at 7 a.m. T-shirts and participation medals are guaranteed with registration through Sept 1. Winners in multiple age categories will be awarded.

The memorial run is a fitting tribute to Helms, who was known for her love of running. And as Fincannon explained Wednesday, the Kandace Helms Foundation (or KHF) is a non-profit organization, established in 2017, that honors the memory of Kandace Long Helms. In March of 2016, while driving on NC-150, taking her son to school in Pumpkin Center, Helms was tragically and instantly killed by a driver intoxicated by multiple narcotic medications. She was just 32 years old.

“Kandace was a beloved daughter, mother and friend,” Fincannon said of her late friend, “whose kindness, compassion and laugh were infectious.”

She added that as a way to honor Helms’s memory, a group of her family and friends came together and formed the foundation in order to offer scholarships, support county Optimist Club programs and fund elementary school reading programs. Helms was a board member of the Boger City Optimist Club.

“Kandace was passionate about education, reading and sports,” said Fincannon. “She was very involved in all aspects of the lives of her sons, Peyton and Mason.  The KHF has grown to be able to offer three total scholarships to deserving high school seniors in Lincoln County, who demonstrate the character and integrity that made Kandace so special. One is offered to a deserving senior from East Lincoln, Kandace’s alma mater, and two additional scholarships are open to seniors at any of the county high schools.

“It is the goal of the KHF to offer a $2,000 scholarship to a senior at each of the four high schools by 2023,” she added. “We also continue to add more elementary school library reading program donations each year, as well as sponsor teams at all four county Optimist Clubs. Our ability to spread our support throughout the county is dependent on the donations from our one event each year, which is the Kandace Helms Memorial Five-K, held the weekend closest to her birthday.”

And this year’s event co-incides directly with Helms’s birthday: Sept. 10.

Fincannon continued that to this date, the KHF has been able to fund the following with the help of its loving and generous supporters:

  • $25,000 in scholarships to Lincoln County high school seniors;
  • $22,000 to Lincoln County Optimist Club programs;
  • and $6,000 to elementary school reading programs.

To learn more, e-mail your queries to And be sure to see the related page on Facebook.

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