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  • Writer's pictureSam | STINGRAY Photo Co.

Love Fund 5k: First Annual Family Fun Run at Worlds of Fun

Updated: Mar 14, 2023


A father running in a 5k for the Fox 4 Love Fund Family 5k approach the finish line at Worlds of Fun. The man wears a blue and red KC heart shirt from Charlie Hustle. Volunteers cheer on the family of runners.
Love Fund 5k Family Approaches Finish Line

LOVE FUND 5k

An opening in the trees shows an inverted roller coaster, the Patriot at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, go into a corkscrew. Those who ride are those who ran and volunteered in the Love Fund 5k hosted by Fox 4 Kansas City. The roller coaster is very American and Americana. It is red, white, and blue with yellow accents. Behind those riding is a bright blue sky a few white clouds.
Love Fund 5k Runners Whip Through the Trees on Patriot After the Race

For those who grew up in Kansas City, Worlds of Fun was a constant part of our summers.


Preteen years spent tromping around the park. The steep drops of the Mamba. The rattly, wooden frame of the Timber Wolf.


For all my years spent at Worlds of Fun, I never imagined I’d be back as an adult carrying a professional camera instead of our old point-and-shoot cameras and the double A batteries they required. Still, thanks to Fox 4’s Love Fund, there I was, photographing the first Family Fun Run, the Love Fund 5k.


This fantastic charity 5k was introduced to me while wrapping up snapping photos for the annual HopeKids Golf Classic, another local charity fundraiser. A man who works for the Love Fund approached me. (Thanks, Marc!)


“Do you like volunteering for charities?” he asked.


The short answer, of course — YES! I love anything that can give back to my city. I love helping, and I love supporting the helpers, too. Before long, I had my alarm clock set for bright and early to meet the Love Fund 5k team at the starting line.

There, I got to meet this dream team in person where they also had volunteers distributing breakfast, face painters, superheroes, and of course, everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy! (I adore this silly, dramatic dog and all of his aviation antics.) Since the Love Fund 5k took place in October, many racers wore various costumes, and the park was decorated for all things spooky and harvesty, too!


After a warmup and stretching routine, the racers were off! I raced around the park with them, using my memorization of the park’s layout to my advantage, cutting through here and there to snap photos all around the race route. My success was also ensured by Worlds of Fun’s event coordinators who helped usher me along the longer parts of the route, like behind/under The Patriot (the longest, AND tallest, full-circuit, inverted roller coaster in the REGION!)

The 5k was a smash. The runners came in, one by one, group by group, exhausted and smiling, as the sun finished rising over the park. The children present got to show off their dazzling costumes and killer dance moves with Snoopy, and then, the most special treat: the roller coasters were opened for the racers!

Love Fund 5k participants, runners, and racers enjoy the open theme park, Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, after running the Family Fun Run hosted by Fox 4 Kansas City. They ride Spinning Dragons, a four-seater roller coaster painted in orange and yellow. They ride with smiles and hands up in the air. In the background, green trees, The Ripcord, and a white ferris wheel can be seen.
Runners Glide Along on Spinning Dragons

With no one else in the park, the Love Fund 5k runners were free to walk around the park, soaking in the fresh, morning air and ability to walk on coasters without waiting in any line. Without a doubt, fun was had by all.


This year, now the second Family Fun Run, is taking place just one month from now, on Saturday, April 15th, 2023. For anybody who’s looking to get their whole family involved in a charity event, or anyone who can simply agree that it’s “been too long since I’ve visited Worlds of Fun,” supporting the Love Fund 5k, the Family Fun Run, could be just the move for you.

For those of you wondering, “What is the best roller coaster at Worlds of Fun?” No worries. It’s definitely the Timber Wolf ;)








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