Rowe owner Maren Roth on starting a benefit run in honor of her father

After her father passed away from lung cancer in 2004, Maren Roth, owner of Short North's Rowe Boutique, wanted to create awareness in the community. She started the Jack Roth 5K Rock & Run/Walk, now in its eighth year, which has raised more than $600,000 for lung cancer research at The James and a special needs camp for children in Israel called Camp Netaim. "Camp Netaim was an important cause for my dad, so we like to keep that going," Roth said. "And the honorary race chair this year is Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of The James. He has just been this wonderful force in our lives since we met him." The 2013 run is Sunday, June 9 at Bexley High School at 9 a.m. Registration is $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event. We chatted with Roth to learn more about the run and the community impact.

-Heather Weekley, @heather_weekley

Tell us a little bit about the run.

It's a 5K, starting with one lap around the track and going through Bexley. We even go past my dad's old house. There's also a track dash for kids, which is one lap around the track. We're really trying to grow the race to be family driven. It's from 9 to 11 a.m., so you can come in the morning and still have the rest of your day.

What is included with race registration?

Registrants get a backpack filled with goodies, and a T-shirt from Homage. During and after the race, there's a marketplace with vendors like Lululemon and 11 Athletics. For the kids, there's a bouncy house from All Out Bounce, and a balloon maker and face painting. The marketplace is in its second year, and it has a combination of health and wellness activities and information. There's food, too. An old friend of my dad's has a meat company, and he brings hot dogs. Block's Bagels and Roth's Produce will have bagels, fruit and juice at the beginning.

How have you felt about the support from the Columbus community since the run's inception?

It is so amazing to see the community coming to us now. We've started to make a mark. The human connection we're starting to make-it has been so incredible to watch it develop. When I came up with the idea, I just really wanted to keep my dad's memory alive and raise awareness. To watch this little idea grow into this, there are so many people that make this happen. Everyone does this out of their heart. My dad's friends come and help. People look forward to it, and it makes me realize how much of an impact this has and how proud my dad would be of everything.

What are your future goals for the Jack Roth Fund?

We're just this tiny little dent. I would like to try and collaborate more with other non-profits, to combine and become one big voice. We'd like to do something in November for Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Where can people register or get more information?

You can register at either at or And people can donate at the FirstGiving page if they want to help out or can't make it to the race.