By Michael Sneff, email@example.com
NEW HANOVER >> During a season when 5K races are a dime a dozen, the community is invited to tie up their running shoes once again but for a very good cause.
All proceeds from the “If You Build It, They Will Run” 5K will benefit Happy 2 be Home, a non-profit organization that helps families provide a suitable home environment for children with disabilities to enhance their quality of life.
The 5K run or walk will be held on Aug. 12 at New Hanover United Methodist Church, 2211 Swamp Pike. Registration starts at 7:15 a.m., and the 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. In addition, there will be a 1-mile fun run or walk taking place at 8:35 a.m. Registration for the 5K is $25 or $30 after Aug. 6 and includes a race shirt. The fee for the 1-mile race is $10 without a race shirt or $15 with a race shirt. The cost to register for the fun run will increase to $15 after Aug. 6. The race shirt size is guaranteed if registered before this upcoming Tuesday. Interested parties can register online at goo.gl/qV9pSo
The course will begin at the back entrance of the church along Reifsnyder Road and will continue onto Swamp Creek Park and the Gilbertsville Golf Club before looping back to the beginning.
Awards will be given to the first male and female overall, as well as the top three finishers in several age categories. The fun run will not be a timed event, but ribbons will be given to all children finishers. Food and refreshments will be provided before and after the race, and there will be water stations at the start/finish area plus at the one and two-mile marks.
Barb Furman, co-coordinator of the 5K and chairperson of the Wellness Council of Boyertown, said the event is a great time for families.
“It’s a feel-good, family friendly event,” Furman said. “Families and volunteers getting involved, seeing the community come together, it’s a good time.”
The “If You Build It, They Will Run” 5K has been held at New Hanover United Methodist Church annually since 2001, and the event has raised substantial amounts of money for various charitable causes in the community including supporting Happy 2 Be Home in recent years. This year, the event has garnered over a dozen sponsors, including United States Cold Storage and 107.5 Alive FM Radio.
Scott Hamrick, President of Happy 2 Be Home, said that without the support of the church and the 5K, the organization wouldn’t have been able to support themselves in their cause.
“The church was the founding sponsor. If we had not had the church, it’s safe to say we would not exist,” Hamrick said. “They gave us the foundation under which we started.”
Happy 2 Be Home came about as a rallying effort to support Charlotte Wendel, who attended New Hanover United Methodist. She became ill at age 7 with a rare disease that left her severely handicapped. In order for Wendel to live at home again, renovations to her home were needed. A financial rallying effort from the community succeeded in helping the family.
Once it was realized that there were more children in the area with similar needs, Happy 2 Be Home was founded on the principle of helping kids with disabilities improve their quality of life.
“They have helped us substantially,” Hamrick said. “The 5K’s proceeds over the last couple years has enabled us to really help these kids.”
Parties interested in volunteering for the event can contact Barb Furman at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visit www.newhavoverumc.org and the registration page, goo.gl/qV9pSo. To donate to Happy 2 Be Home, visit their website at www.happy2behome.org.