Runners don tutus, tiaras, raise funds for 5-year-old fighting cancer; STGNews Photo Gallery

Taleah Stevenson, 5, and her aunt Tiera Orr participate in an opening ceremony held at Millie's Princess Run in honor of Taleah at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, June 7, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Saturday morning, under a cloud of bubbles blown by the attending crowd of runners, spectators and organizers, Millie’s Princess Run officially opened at Desert Hills High School. The event was held in conjunction with Millie’s Princess Foundation and in honor of 5-year-old Taleah Stevenson, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Crowds gather for an opening ceremony at the Millie’s Princess Run 5K and fundraiser at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, June 7, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Millie’s Princess Run was a celebration of life as hundreds of community members came out to support Taleah by running, walking and donating their time, products, skills and money to help the Stevenson family with their medical costs.

Taleah will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant June 16. She will have to spend six weeks in Primary Children’s Hospital following the procedure and an additional 100 days in Salt Lake City for continued monitoring.

Taleah was present for the opening ceremonies of the Princess Run and could be seen smiling for photos, having her face painted and playing with bubbles.

The fundraising event featured a 5K, multiple children’s runs, a silent auction, several raffles, food vendors, face painting, Disney princesses and “Star Wars” characters, a photo booth and more.

Members of the St. George Fire Department were on hand to spray down runners and spectators with a fire hose.

Local radio personality Carl Lamar served as master of ceremonies at the event and was quick to praise the giving nature of St. George residents.

“To see the kind of support that this event is getting is overwhelming,” Lamar said. “I think St. George is one of the most philanthropic communities in the nation.”

Race director Dani Prince said the event was a big success and she was very pleased with the turnout and support.

Taleah Stevenson and Tiera Orr play with bubbles at the princess run held to benefit Taleah and her family at Desert Hills High School, St. George, Utah, June 7, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“I want to say thanks to St. George for being so absolutely amazing in all ways,” Prince said. ” The participants, the vendors, the sponsors – we couldn’t have pulled it off without the amazing support we got from the community. I am so proud to be a part of a community that knows how to show their love.”

A total of 383 racers ran the 5K and more than $16,000 was raised for the Stevenson family, with final tallies still coming in.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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