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Race for Grace becomes Miles for Smiles

Sun May 19, 2024 Baxter, MN 56425 US Directions


Miles for Smiles 5k Run/Walk

11:00AM CDT - 1:00PM CDT
Open to ages 110 and under.

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


Forestview Middle School
12149 Knollwood Dr.
Baxter, MN US 56425


New in 2024 Brighter Days Foundation is teaming up with Smiles for Jake in a transition year as Race for Grace becomes Miles for Smiles. This unique partnership will bring racers from all walks of life to support TWO amazing causes. All proceeds will be split between the 2 non profits. 

Who is Grace?

Grace Elizabeth Lee was born with a congenital heart condition and underwent open heart surgery in May 2011. Little Grace was such a brave little trooper and fought back after her surgery. Life was good. Tragically, a few days later, just six days before her first birthday, Grace passed away unexpectedly due to some unusual complications.

Each year on Memorial Weekend, we celebrate her life and remember her. You will be missed and loved forever. It was the weekend she was born, the weekend we said goodbye to her and the weekend we celebrate her life. Thank you in advance for helping celebrate the life of Gracie by supporting this charitable event. 

Who is Jake?

Jake Haapajoki was your normal 16-year old kid. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a grandson, a friend, a boyfriend, an athlete and active in his church.  Jake had a family that loved him and supported him in all he did. His siblings adored him. He had genuine connections with his aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. His community loved him. Jake’s smile was nearly constant when he was in the presence of his friends and in social environments. His smile could light up a room like no other. His wild hair and a unique love his shoes were dominate in his handsome self. He loved candy.

Jake took his life on February 21, 2018. Jake couldn’t see an end to his pain. Jake made a mistake. Suicide is always a mistake.

Jake’s family and friends, through their despair and grief, have launched the Smiles for Jake Movement to begin work to eliminate suicide and provide hope to all that suffer from darkness and despair.  The hashtag #WeAreAllJake has been created to represent each and every person in this world that needs an extra smile, a hug, a high five, kind words or simply a moment of attention.

 ***50% of the proceeds will go toward surprising local children with serious or chronic illness with gifts and experiences.  50% of the proceeds will go to the mission of spreading awareness, education and resources for mental health and suicide prevention. 

The Race for Grace Run/Walk course follows a route around Forestview Middle School in Baxter, Minnesota. The 3.1 mile course is fast and flat with some small hills between mile 1 and mile 2.

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.



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