May 18 race bigger than ever; former foster kids to benefit
With participation of more than 90 people, this year’s SMART5.29 K run/walk easily outpaced its four predecessors, both in bodies on the course and in sponsorships. The Treasurer’s Office and Mission West Virginia are the principal partners of the project, backed by a growing host of partners and sponsors.
Crowds were noticeably up on the course, which runs from Appalachian Power Park to the State Capitol and back. Between sponsorships, registrations and donations, race advocates and participants raised nearly $28,000, which nearly doubles the amount brought in during a regular sponsorship/race cycle.
Heading into the May 18 race, the first four races had garnered $57,600 in college savings funds, split up among 48 children. Many came from the same family. This year’s haul is nearly half that amount, an impressive figure measured against four years.
“Wow,” Treasurer Perdue said. “This year’s race took a step forward. I hope we can build on it. I’m counting on it.”
This means more kids will qualify for awards during an August luncheon at the Clay Center. Families who have adopted kids from foster care are encouraged to apply to FrameWorks, which uses a selection process to choose family winners. FrameWorks is a social services agency which operates under the Mission West Virginia umbrella.
Runners and walkers contended with sultry weather during the morning event but no rain. The thermometer eventually fell one degree short of 90 on race day, with high humidity.