Preparation is under way for the kick-off event that will start the United Fund of Surry’s annual fundraising season.
This year’s sixth annual Downtown Rocks and Runs will get under way at 5 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the Blackmon Amphitheatre.
Gates will open at 5 p.m., with a Kid’s Fun Run at 6 p.m., and the 5K race beginning at 6:30.
Organizer Beth Pequeno, executive director of the United Fund, said advance registration for the 5K race is recommended, since the fee goes up the day of the event. The registration fee is $25 until midnight on Aug. 16, and $30 the day of the event.
Registration is available online at www.active.com, or by mailing a form available at Reeves Community Center and other locations around the county. Registration also can be completed online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A concert featuring Raleigh-based 80s cover band, 80’z ENUFF, will get under way at 7 p.m. at Blackmon Amphitheatre. Tickets are $10, Pequeno said, and a variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase. All runners receive free entry into the concert.
“It’s going to be a great family-friendly event, and we hope everyone in the community will come out and help us celebrate another year of the United Fund of Surry connecting people and businesses with local agencies that make a difference,” Pequeno said. “We are excited about this event again this year, and look forward to everyone coming out to have fun with us.”
Officials say the 5K race has become a community favorite since its addition to the fundraising drive in 2010.
“Last year, we had the course certified by U.S. Track and Field,” said Chris Bunting, United Fund treasurer. “And this year we have added chip timing so we can improve our race product and attract runners from all over the region.”
The race begins at the U.S. Post Office on Main Street in Mount Airy, travels through the town and along the greenway, and ends in front of the Mount Airy municipal building.
In addition, organizers are looking out for the littlest county residents.
More activities for children have been planned this year, including the fun run, which will begin behind the municipal building. Face painting and a bounce house also will be offered.
But organizers don’t want the public to forget the purpose of the United Fund.
“Downtown Rocks and Runs is the community kick-off event for our annual campaign,” said Ron Sutphin, this year’s chair of the board of directors. “It continues to get bigger and better every year. We want to get people excited about our campaign and the great work our 26 agencies do in this community.”
Sutphin said he is pleased with the support the campaign is getting from the community.
“This year we have created a new partnership with our friends at the Mount Airy Professionals of Surry (MAPS) for the event,” he said. “MAPS is helping us find new sponsorships and will also be providing us with manpower the day of the event, which is always so beneficial. But we are always looking for more help and more sponsorships, so if you want to be involved please reach out to us at the United Fund and ask how you can help.”
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.