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Local fundraiser can get a little dirty

Posted on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm

By Ken Jackson

Staff Writer

Need a reason and the motivation to push your body to its physical limits?

Want to help some great causes in the process?

The St. Cloud Police Department is waiting for you, and it hopes you are wearing old shoes.

The second edition of the Robo Mud Run will be June 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fundraiser, hosted by SCPD and the city of St. Cloud, consists of a 3- to 5-mile course, based on ability, fraught with obstacles that make the Robo Mud Run unlike the average hike through the park.

Among the 80 obstacles are a 200-yard mud pit, a two-story mud slide, a swamp crawl, a tire gauntlet, a 400-yard swim and the ever-popular four-story “mega slide.”

There also is a kid’s obstacle course for those under 12 years of age. An after-party includes food, drinks, music and awards.

Last year, the event was held to support St. Cloud Police Sgt. Boyd Graham in his fight against advanced liver cancer, and raised $35,000 that went directly toward the family’s medical costs. This year, part of the proceeds will go to another one of SCPD’s own, Misael “MJ” Cortez, who was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer and has been receiving treatment at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona. He is the son of SCPD 911 call center Service Manager Mike Cortez.

“We’re a brotherhood here, we do what we can to rally around our own,” said SCPD Community Outreach Director Sgt. Denise Roberts, who has felt that rallying spirit herself since being diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer in October.

Now back at work after taking some leave to fight the disease, she still got a little emotional last week talking about the events the community put on to help her and her family out.

“I was pronounced fit for duty while this was going on. This has been hard on me, and as a department we don’t want anyone or their families to go through that,” she said.

The St. Cloud Citizen’s Foundation account to benefit Special Olympics Florida and the St. Cloud Community Food Pantry are also beneficiaries this year.

Police department volunteers have given their time to design and lay out the course, which will feature new obstacles that an event flyer calls “exciting,” though runners might not feel that way about ones coming late in the course.

SCPD staffers and other hearty souls such as Osceola Sheriff Bob Hansell, participated last week in a dry run of the course, when it wasn’t yet at its highest, wettest or muddiest.

Cost for the event is $65 for the general public and $49 for government employees. Children under 12 can run the kids’ course for $25. For a limited time, those who book online can save $10 by using the promotional code ROBO4MJ.

Event details are available online at, and online registration is available at