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Cipriano Family Benefit Run/Walk Returns June 7

Last year's wildly successful benefit for the children of slain Farmington Hills resident Robert Cipriano drew more than 2,000 people to the Farmington Family YMCA.

A 5k fun run and walk that last year raised more than $60,000 for the children of Robert Cipriano, killed in a brutal attack on his family, returns June 7 to the Farmington Family YMCA. 

The inaugural Cipriano Classic far exceeded organizers' expectations, drawing more than 2,200 participants. 

"We were truly astounded by last year's participation. The outpouring of support from the Farmington community and beyond exceeded all expectations," event co-chair Jenny Birmelin said. "With more time to plan this year, we are looking forward to seeing everyone once again and uniting the community in support of the Cipriano family." 

Robert's wife, Rose, and his son, Salvatore, were seriously injured ; Salvatore's twin brother, Tanner, and sister, Isabella, escaped harm. The Ciprianos' eldest son, Tucker, and his friend Mitchell Young are expected to go on trial in June on felony charges related to the attack. 

After costs, proceeds from the event will go to the Cipriano Children's Trust, a fund that supports the continuing medical recovery and daily needs of the Cipriano children. 

In a statement released to the planning committee, the family shared a heartfelt message to the participants, sponsors and community: 

Thank you to last year's thousands of runners, walkers, and generous sponsors. We were overwhelmed with the community's response and genuine kindness, and never imagined that so many would turn out to support our family. 

Your contributions made it possible to place our sole focus on healing and recovery. Rose and Salvatore have made great strides. Rose continues physical and occupational therapy services on an outpatient basis. Although Salvatore met many milestones over the last year, his status remains day-to-day, and we’re still searching for lasting solutions so that he can move forward in his healing. He has encountered many setbacks requiring ICU care, countless surgeries and various emergency interventions, and is still struggling to achieve consistent progress. At this time, he will require inpatient medical care for the foreseeable future. Tanner and Isabella continue to excel in their schoolwork and activities, with the help and loving support of family and friends. 

The void of Bob is still felt in so many ways - as a loving and dedicated husband, father, brother, coach, friend and neighbor. The event is a great honor to his memory and his love for sports and community. 

Each and every one of you are the light of our community, and together are a shinning beacon of hope for all that is good. Never stop radiating goodness. JKLP.

"JKLP" is an acronym for "just keep loving people", which was part of a message Tanner Cipriano gave during his father's memorial service. 

Cost to participate in the run $25 through June 1, and $35 after that date. Those registered by June 1 are guaranteed a t-shirt.  

Registration is available on-line at active.com in-person at or by mail to the Farmington Family YMCA, 28100 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills, MI, 48334. A paper entry can be downloaded and printed from the Everal Race Management website

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a welcome, group warm-up and stretching. The race officially begins at 7 p.m. from the YMCA parking lot. Participants can walk or run through the scenic community course. 

Those cannot attend and wish to make a donation to the Cipriano Children’s Trust can do so through the event webpage. Donations are also being accepted for the Farmington Family YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, which teaches children and teens positive behaviors, allows them to explore their talents and realize their potential. Rose Cipriano is a former YMCA staff member. 

At first I thought - hey... I'm not going to run my fat {{{ behind }}} in that race, so I'll just make the donation, go get a coney dog and fries, and watch the race from the sidelines. Well. On second thought - what the heck - I think I'll get the t-shirt and walk/run/walk the course. I think about this family often. Why, you ask?? Because it is my opinion, in the year 2013, with facebook, twitter, drugs, and alcohol, that this disaster can happen to ANYONE. And don't kid yourselves. Maybe you have GREAT kids that you are proud of. GOOD FOR YOU. But your kids have friends. And those friends have friends. And if you stop and think about it - no, even those of you with "great kids" are simply not safe anymore.

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