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055-Fundraising takes on new face08
REGION- Fundraising events have been going on for years. Families and townspeople gathered together at the grange and legion halls to offer their support through suppers, raffles, dances and in recent years Chinese auctions and walks as well as other great ideas like ATV rides and toy runs are becoming more popular.
As more citizens become less active with sit down jobs, computers and indoor games, they are becoming more aware of their health, thus, road races are gaining a lot of attendance for adults and children alike.
You may have heard of Pam (Thompson) Redstone recently. With 133 participants registered for the Go in the Snow 5K in Topsham to benefit the Mexico native, the event brought in roughly $7,000 to help ease the financial burden from medical bills accumulating as a result of Pam's second cancer diagnosis.
Melissa Palmer, a cousin to Pam, volunteered her time to help coordinate the benefit run.
“We had a total of 133 runners that day, Wow! And we thought we would only get 50. Prior to the race 87 people had pre-registered at $18 each. Then on race day, there were 46 people who showed up to run and paid the increased fee, and bought t-shirts or donated additional funds. We also had the online donation site, which I would highly recommend. There is a fee/donation and also a percentage that you pay, but we managed to raise about $3,000 through that. We also did a bottle drive and have them to return and some cash donations still coming in, but all in total, I would guess we brought in about $7,000 for the whole event.”
“With the 5K, it brought in a lot of people who just like to run, no matter the cause. Also, we held it in Topsham. This brought three communities together. We had the Mexico area (where Pam grew up), Turner area (where they live now) and the Topsham area (where the race was held).”
Participating in the run, as part of their training was Team Xtreme from Topsham. It's becoming a popular training method as you see school teams, running clubs and individuals signing up in preparation of a longer distance race in the future.
The other option participants have is, if they live out of state and still want to contribute, they can donate to the cause and be a virtual runner. In the case of Pam Redstone, she had family travel from as far away as Vermont, but also had family in Florida that walked at the same time the event was taking place in Topsham.
If you're reading this thinking that you would like to try running or run/walking your first 5K, let me put things into perspective for you.
The person who placed first in the benefit run completed the 5K (3.1 miles) in 20:00:11 and the person who crossed the finish line last posted a time of 58:26:02.
First, that's less than an hour of your time to help someone or an organization in need. Second, you don't have to run the whole thing. You can do like a lot of people do and run a distance and walk a distance, alternating your stride.
From a personal point of view, there have been many run/walkers that have finished ahead of me, while I've kept a steady pace throughout.
Third, it's an hour of getting some great exercise for your lungs, your heart, your spirit and not to mention the way those endorphins make you feel when you're finished.
And lastly, it doesn't have to be a race. Yes, getting a medal out of all those people probably does something for your psyche (I wouldn't know), because often times, like me, you're out there to beat your personal best. Not to impress anyone. Just to finish and feel good about your accomplishment.
I urge you to get out and start walking. Who knows, you may like it and want to pick up your stride.
Palmer stated that if you're planning to organize a road race, the cost to host it was about $800.
The purchase of t-shirts, medals for the winners, food and water and the rental of the timer was all covered by donations from family-run businesses and family members. The venue, The Barn Door Cafe, donated the use of the building.
For a list of road races/runs near you, visit www.active.com or contact River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition at 364-7408 for healthy ways to get active.