United Fund of Surry is holding a fundraising 5K run this Saturday in and around the downtown area.
Downtown Rocks & Runs includes a kids’ race, 5K run and an after-party at Old North State Winery in downtown Mount Airy.
The 5k race will begin at the post office at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The challenging course will lead runners down Cherry and Pine streets before runners run the length of the Ararat River Greenway. On the homestretch leading into town runners will be forced to negotiate the steep hill on East Independence Avenue.
There will also be a “Kids’ Fun Run” to follow at 8:45 a.m. That run, which is only 500 yards in length, is free for children 12 and under. However, t-shirts for participants can be purchased for $10 each.
Awards will be given for for the top finishers overall and by age division. Additionally, there is a team fitness challenge and a corporate challenge. Race awards will be presented at 9 a.m. in front of the Mount Airy Municipal Building.
United Fund of Surry Executive Director Christina Plitt said that Saturday’s event is meant as a celebration to kick-off her organization’s annual fundraising campaign. Plitt said that United Fund of Surry has set a goal this year of raising $450,000 for local charities.
According to Plitt last year’s Downtown Rocks & Run raised about $14,000, with about 200 participants. Plitt said that, in addition to race entry fees, funds will be raised by collecting donations at the door at the 7 p.m. musical performance by local group The Craig Vaughn Experience at Old North State Winery.
Plitt said that there were about 160 runners registered for the race as of Tuesday afternoon. Plitt hopes to exceed the 200 runner mark that was set last year.
Plitt said that funds raised by United Fund of Surry are distributed to 26 member agencies. According to Plitt each organization applies for funding at the beginning of each year. United Fund board members disburse funding based on the needs of each individual charity.
Plitt said that United Fund of Surry is special in that all funds are used locally.
“All money that is raised stays in Surry County,” commented Plitt. “That’s something very unique about our organization.”
According to Plitt there is still time to enter the race. Prospective runners may pre-register on the event’s website at www.unitedfundofsurry.org/downtown-rocks-and-runs. Race-day registration is also available and begins at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in front of the Mount Airy Municipal Building.
The cost to run in the event, which includes a t-shirt and a goodie bag for the first 200 runners who register, is $30.
Andy Winemiller is a staff writer for the Mount Airy News. Andy can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or [email protected]