Five years later, Sequim’s Twyla Luke looks to run far for another milestone birthday while supporting another important cause.
“I try to run my age most years, and this is a big one,” she said.
This year, Luke is running for the Maui Food Bank with a goal of $15,550 to support victims of the August wildfires.
On Sept. 27 — her 55th birthday — Luke will run 55 miles in and around Sequim and Port Angeles.
Donors can visit tinyurl.com/SEQtwyla.
Each donation is entered randomly to win a Sonicare electric toothbrush, gift certificates, merchandise, and coffee cards.
For her 50th birthday, Luke ran 50 miles with a goal to raise $5,000 for Sequim Food Bank, where she volunteers with fellow Seventh-day Adventist Church members making a free meal on the first and third Sundays from 9-10:30 a.m.
Her fundraiser was partially inspired by Sequim’s Chuck Milliman, who ran to raise funds for the Sequim Food Bank on his 85th birthday.
She recalls running 10 miles in the middle of the night with him at a separate time and feeling a sense that “there’s so much to life.”
On her 50th birthday run, she discovered how generous and kind people can be too.
“A lot of people I was not expecting to come out on the trail with me, did,” Luke said.
“If they want to come out and spend some miles with me on the trails they can do that.”
Luke said she chose Maui Food Bank because she knows some people who live there and the island will be dealing with the fires’ impact for years to come.
As for fundraising, Luke, a dental hygienist, spoke to her boss Dr. Todd Irwin, who recommended she get sponsors. That led to the giveaways for each donation.
On Sept. 27, she’ll be livestreaming the event, likely starting at 3 a.m. and going until 5 p.m.
“The sooner I can get off my feet the better,” she joked.
She’ll do a run/walk combination through the day, and has it mapped out where she’ll go into Sequim and then Port Angeles to stop at sponsors, such as Starbucks, Irwin Dental Center and Price Ford to give them shoutouts.
Luke emphasizes that people don’t have to do a lot to support their community.
“We get caught up in the idea that we have to do something big to make a difference,” she said. “It can be something like volunteering at the Food Bank.