Jennifer Vining promises an epic experience at the inaugural E-Luminate Glow Run as The Eternity Foundation celebrates her brother’s life and spirit.
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves
Glowing foam, fun with family and friends and fabulous food are just a few highlights of the E-Luminate Glow Run that will light up Hot Springs later this month. Hosted by The Eternity Foundation, the recreational run and concert featuring the popular Christian band Citizen Way benefits an eclectic mix of international organizations. The Eternity Foundation, formed in memory of Zeke Blanton, was established last February by his sister Jennifer Vining, her husband and a friend of Zeke’s.
The foundation continues Zeke’s philanthropic work and civic leadership, Jennifer explains. “He enjoyed his job at Final Touch Roofing because it allowed him to establish relationships with different people in the community.” She continues, “Events such as the E-Luminate Glow Run help the foundation support the charitable organizations that Zeke would want to support.”
Jennifer, who is the graphic designer for Crossgate Church in Hot Springs, says the mission of the foundation reflects a family motto: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” The Eternity Foundation exists to simply “do good and help others.” Helping others is an integral component of their family values, Jennifer says. “And we like to have fun, so this event is a perfect way to honor Zeke’s memory.”
She noted that Zeke lived with her family – her husband, Robert, and their two boys, Tatum and Liam. “The boys are very much looking forward to the event. They were very close to their Uncle Zeke and always shared fun activites together. This glow run has helped us in the grieving process. My dad died in 2002, so now my mom and I are a family of two. The establishment of the foundation and this event have really helped her get through this loss.”
Zeke was only 37 years old when he died. And he lived life to the fullest, his younger sister remembers. With an unwavering smile and upbeat personality and spirit, he encouraged everyone to “simply live and do good,” Jennifer notes. “He loved when family and friends were together. Strangers didn’t exist to him, and he believed in helping others without recognition. The foundation will honor that by bringing people together at this exciting, unconventional events.”
Proceeds from the E-Luminate Glow Run & Concert will benefit several charities: Teen Challenge, a national outreach program for troubled young men and women with a Hot Springs division; Samaritan Ministries, a local organization that helps the homeless; and The Well, an international group that advocates against human trafficking. Jennifer adds, “This event will help our foundation establish a presence in the community and bring people together for a whole new experience in Hot Springs.”
Justin Martin from the reality television series Duck Dynasty will welcome guests to the Citizen Way concert at a meet-and-greet, which will kick off the festivities and get participants energized for the fun run. Justin is a friend of the family, Jennifer explains. “He heard about Zeke’s passing and the E-Luminate Glow Run and offered to be a part of it.”
The event is not just a foam run and concert, Jennifer says. “There will be bounce houses for kids, neon face painting, glow sticks, and food from Chick-fil-A and Flossie’s Funnel Cakes.” After the concert, DJ Kramer Live will provide the upbeat tunes for the start of the race. “It will be an evening of fun for all ages,” she notes, “so come dressed in white or bright colors and be ready to have a good time.”
Why join the E-Luminate Glow Run? It’s going to be epic – music, food, friends and FOAM!
Favorite Hot Springs Spot? The Gulpha Gorge Trail
Fun Memory with Zeke? We grew up in Southern California – beach volleyball was always fun!