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Media/Press Releases


Sherry’s Run Saddened By Balloon Release Cancellation


One of the most special elements of the annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk event is the balloon release. Participants at the event attach the names of their loved ones who have fought or are still fighting cancer and, often tearfully, watch as those names float upward in a beautiful tribute. Many of these names have been found in other states and can be very emotional for the family members of those found.


Recently, Sherry’s Run was contacted by an organization in Florida called Balloons Blow to inform them that releasing more than 25 balloons is illegal in the state of Tennessee. Of course, Sherry’s Run has never been aware of this law and, as a Christian organization, would never knowingly violate the law. Upon being informed of this information, the Sherry’s Run board and staff immediately contacted state and local officials. While working around the clock to make the event a success, our small staff also took time to research the law and other options for honoring loved ones at the event. 

“After much prayer and consideration, the board and staff has decided it would be best for us to cancel the balloon release for this year’s event,” says Tonyia Stockton, Board Chair for Sherry’s Run. “We are saddened, as we know this means so much to so many of our supporters, but we are thankful to know that this community stands behind Sherry’s Run, even when change is necessary.”

For those who are disappointed by this news, Sherry’s Run does have plans for an alternative activity to honor our loved ones. “Though it will be difficult to match the meaning of the balloon release, we do believe this special surprise will be meaningful and fun,” says Alisa Van Dyke, Sherry’s Run Marketing Director. 

“Sherry’s Run has been frustrated and disappointed by the harassment and maligning behavior from the Balloons Blow organization’s supporters. Though we understand that their cause is very important to them, they have shown disrespect to our patients and supporters, whom we love very much,” says Stockton. “They have unfortunately taken away valuable time that should have been spent serving our patients and preparing this event for our supporters.”

Since 2004, the Wilson County community has shown overwhelming support for Sherry’s Run and the patients that we serve. Help us make the thirteenth annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk event the best one yet! Your registration makes a big difference!

Corrie Cluck

Faith, courage, optimism and a desire to help others were qualities that defined Sharon “Sherry” Patterson Whitaker. Both before and after the energetic wife and mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, the impression she made on her family, friends and community was undeniable. While her battle in the flesh was lost in 2004, the spirit she had shown throughout life continues to touch more lives every day. Because of Sherry’s Run, a 5K run/walk benefit organized in Sherry’s memory, area cancer victims and their families can make strides toward becoming cancer survivors, and researchers are a small step closer to stopping the disease for good.