At the kick-off to the United Fund of Surry’s 2012-13 campaign, the fifth annual Downtown Rocks and Runs was declared a success.
Organizers were hoping to raise around $10,000 at the event on Saturday, and while the final totals aren’t in, they said they were pleased with the turnout this year.
Beth Pequeno, executive director of the United Fund of Surry, said it was the biggest turnout for the Rocks portion of the event that the organization has ever seen. The Breakfast Club of Atlanta, Ga., an ‘80s cover band was sponsored by BB&T. The band performed last night at the Blackmon Amphitheatre following the 5K, or Runs, portion of the annual fundraiser.
“This is a great night with a wonderful turnout. We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Pequeno.
Allison Poteat, event chairperson, said she was particularly excited to have the band play in Mount Airy. She pointed out that none of the United Fund’s money was used to put on the event, or pay for the band, so all of the funds raised Saturday night go to the United Fund.
Poteat thanked the staff of Reeves Community Center for their help in putting on the run, and the Mount Airy Police and Fire departments, the Mount Airy and Dobson rescue squads for their help with the event.
She also thanked United Fund board member Chris Bunning for getting the 5K course U.S.A. Track and Field certified for the first time this year. Although, there were slightly less runners than last year, she felt that more people from out of town came for the race, and to see the band.
Walt Broom, president of the United Fund, said he was glad to see the event be a success again this year.
“I think this is wonderful and it’s great to see the kids and families come out. What a wonderful way to kick off the campaign,” said Broom.
The United Fund’s goal this year is to raise $515,000.
Will Campbell was the winner of this year’s 5K race with a time of 18:54. Runners started on Cherry Street, then made their way down to Riverside Park where they ran on the Ararat River Greenway, then back up Independence Boulevard, down Main Street to the finish line in front of City Hall.
One of the event sponsors, O2 Energies President Joel Olsen who ran in the race, said his company wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to them.
“We want to do something every year. The United Fund helps a lot of charities, even one that helps customers pay their electric bills. This is a great thing the United Fund does for the community,” said Olsen.
Logan Stephens, project developer for O2 Energies, and Rachel McInturff with the company also participated in the race. McInturff and her dog MJ walked in the 5K event. Stephens said his dad Dennis Stephens lives here, so it’s like coming home when he’s in Mount Airy.
Olsen went on to say that the greenway by the Ararat River is one of his favorite features of Mount Airy.
In addition to the 5K, a Kid’s Fun Run was held in the parking lot of City Hall. All of the kids received blue ribbons for participating.
United Fund of Surry funds 26 non-profit and human service agencies. These agencies provide a variety of services in the community. All money raised by the United Fund stays in the community. For more information, visit www.unitedfundofsurry.org.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.