Beech Mountain Resort will honor the late Kelly-Grier Costin at its annual Runs for Buns fundraising event to be held March 6-12.
Kelly-Grier Costin, of Boone, died March 19, 2021, after a three-year journey with colon cancer.
Born July 2, 1984, Kelly-Grier Costin grew up in Suffolk, Virginia. Baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, she remained a strong person of faith throughout her life. She graduated from East Carolina University with honors. While at ECU, she was a member of Sigma Sigma.
After graduating, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and met her future husband, Ryan Costin. Ryan Costin is the general manager of Beech Mountain Resort, and the two raised their families in Boone.
Talia Freeman, director of marketing at Beech Mountain Resort, got to know Kelly-Grier Costin through their shared connection to the resort.
“Kelly-Grier was pretty awesome. Like she was a really positive human being in general. Even through her battles, she was so positive and so uplifting and captivating. She was truly an inspiration to a lot of people, especially in the Boone community,” Freeman said.
Freeman shared that Kelly-Grier Costin helped start the Runs for Buns event at the resort after she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
“In the spring of 2019, we launched Runs for Buns. We wanted to do a ski event because she has a strong connection to the ski resort because it’s her family’s business,” Freeman said. “We thought it might be a bit similar to a cancer run or walk, but you get counted for your ski and snowboard runs. She helped lead this.
This year’s Runs for Buns event will take place on March 12 with fundraising efforts from March 6-12.
On March 7, Five Guys in Boone will host a “donation” day where proceeds will be donated to the cause. On March 8, Beech Mountain Resort will offer discounted prices to students and employees of schools in Watauga and Avery counties. On March 9, Revolution Boone cycling studio will be offering charity rides in honor of Kelly-Grier Costin. On March 10, Boone’s Come Back Shack will also donate.
The Runs for Buns event on March 12 will welcome individuals and teams as volunteers count their runs on the mountain. People can receive promises of races in order to collect more money. Awards such as “most runs” or “most spirited team” will be awarded at the end of the day.
In addition to these fundraisers, an online auction will be held throughout the week with items donated by many local businesses.
“Everyone has really supported me this year. So we have everything from gift cards to the Horton, CoBo, Carolina West donated air capsules, lodging, skiing, all kinds of stuff,” Freeman said. “So it was really cool to see the community come together on this.”
Proceeds from the week’s fundraising efforts will be donated to Colon Cancer Coalition. Over the years, Freeman shared that Beech Mountain Resort has raised $60,000 for the Colon Cancer Coalition and has a goal of raising $40,000 this year. Since starting Runs for Buns, Harper, daughter of Kelly-Grier and Ryan Costin, has raised approximately $20,000.
“It had quite a long reach and was really impactful for the ski area. We donate a portion of our profits to the Colon Cancer Coalition,” Freeman said. “We really try to promote them year-round because it’s such an undetected disease in our country and if anything comes out of it, hopefully we can get other people to get screened for cancer. “