Zoe's Race gives boost to area families - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Zoe's Race gives boost to area families

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's a race that started out as one family's mission to help their child and it's grown into a fundraiser for kids in need across the state.

Hundreds gathered Sunday at Burlington's Oakledge Park for Zoe's Race. "Having that extra help meant that someone really cared about Joe and what his needs were," said Theresa Soares.
Soares and her family are recipients of the charity. "They came out and gave us a new ramp and put in an an accessible bathroom and it works wonderful and Joe is safe," Soares said.

"The majority of the money that we raise goes directly to projects to help families," said Cathie Buscaglia with the HowardCenter.

It all began with the parents of a disabled child who realized there was a need in the community for other families of children with disabilities. They began Zoe's Race -- named after their daughter who was confined to a wheelchair after an accident.  Proceeds from the race help make homes handicap accessible. "So far we've completed 13 home renovations in Chittenden County with two more to start next week,"  Buscaglia said.

The race has brought in $100,000 since it began five years ago. This year, they'll be helping Dawn Leuschner's family transform their home for 3-year-old Charlotte. "As our daughter got older we realized that we had some challenges with the layout of our house," Dawn Leuschner said. Construction on her home begins next month.  "The cliche is -- it takes a village to raise -- and that's especially true for children with special needs. That's especially true,"  she said.

And there's no doubt the community is showing support -- year after year.  "There is hope and there is help out there," Buscaglia said.

And these parents couldn't be happier.

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