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Emily Koesters at the 2017 Little Giants Farm Run. This year’s run will be held Sept. 30 at 17301 S. 132nd St. in Springfield.

The Little Giants Farm Run returns this month for the fifth year in a row.

Set for Sept. 30 at Cockerill Farms, 17301 S. 132nd St. in Springfield, the annual event serves to benefit the Little Giants Foundation, a local nonprofit organized to become a voice for those diagnosed with rare forms of Dwarfism, in particular Schimke Immuno-osseous Dysplasia.

SIOD is a rare, life-limiting disease that causes vascular and kidney problems, a weakened immune system and short stature caused by problems with skeletal growth. The average life expectancy for a child with the most severe form of the disease is 11 to 16 years.

Gretna’s Emily Koesters — the face of the Little Giants Foundation, which was organized by her parents Erin and Joe — is now 15 years old. The run is held in honor of Emily.

The Little Giants Farm Run offers a 5K race for $30, a 1.5 mile race for $30 or a quarter-mile fun run for children for $20. Packets may be picked up beginning at 3 p.m. Races begin at 4 p.m. with food and entertainment to following beginning at 5 p.m.

The event will also feature face painting, animals, auction and raffles, SNOWIE shaved ice and live music.

“Even for non-runners and walkers, we have family fun activities going on that can help in our fundraising for SIOD research,” said Erin Koesters, who runs the Little Giants Foundation with the help of her family. “We work each year to make this bigger, better and even more special than the last for the attendees and for our Gretna’s own, Emily Koesters and her younger sister, Taylor-Jo, of course.”

To register, or for more information, visit little giantsfoundation.blogspot.com and follow the registration links in the first post. Registration is open online through Sept. 29. Same day, walk-up registration will also be available.

The Little Giants Foundation is a designated fund of the Gretna Community Foundation.

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