A local charitable organization, the Helping Hands Foundation of Surry, will be supported by some helping feet next week when the organization holds its fifth-annual Color Walk/Run in Mount Airy.
The event is scheduled for April 7 at Veterans Memorial Park on West Lebanon Street, making use of the city greenway running alongside the park. It will feature a 5K walk/run beginning at 9 a.m., coming on the heels of a kids fun run at 8:45 a.m.
“Color” runs are so named because along with the competition, such events have the added dimension of participants being doused with color dust at designated stations. The intent is to create a colorful, happy, feel-good atmosphere that is accompanied by a moving, living work of art they collectively embody.
Green, as in money, will be a key color during the April 7 run/walk, with the event a major fundraiser for the Helping Hands Foundation of Surry. It was launched in 2011 by local resident Nicholas Cooke, then 16, with the goal of providing utility bill assistance, food, toiletries and clothing to local residents in need.
Helping Hands also has partnered with local schools to provide supplies to children. The organization’s mission is “to create long-lasting solutions to end poverty and hunger while fostering individual pride and sustainability.”
In previous years, the color race has generated about $25,000, which represents around $2,000 per month in utility assistance.
Raising that sum would enable Helping Hands to assist at least a dozen families each month again this year with utility bills they otherwise are unable to pay.
“One hundred percent of the funding generated from this annual race allows us to give 100 percent back to our community in need,” Cooke, the foundation director, said in a statement.
“We’ve already raised $15,000 in sponsorship money,” Helping Hands assistant director Karen Eberdt said last week.
Runners and walkers can aid the cause through participation fees that include $30 for adults for the 5K run and $25 for 5K youths. The charge to teams (a minimum of eight people) is $25 per person and that for the kids fun run, $22.
Race registration is available at http://helpinghandscolorrun5k.itsyourrace.com.
Exciting, fun affair
In 2017, more than 300 people took part in the 5K (3.1-mile) color run.
This year’s event will feature music provided by a DJ and refreshments are to be available for participants.
Event sponsors include AES, Coram Construction, Eagle Carports, Gates Pharmacy, Marketing Creative Studios and CK Technologies.
Organizers say that along with the excitement, fun and food, participants will be part of a solution for meeting needs in the community which are ever-growing. Public support is vital to the functions of Helping Hands, which race organizers say they are grateful for beyond words.
In addition to the support rendered with the April 7 walk/run, the organization has an office at 114 W. Lebanon St. which opened in 2016, where donations of food, clothing, shoes, blankets and toiletries are gathered. It is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.