HAZARD — Rainy weather again plagued the Run for the Hills Charity Challenge, but it did not dampen the giving spirit as more than twice the number of runners and walkers participated in the event over last year.
Many local charities are involved in the annual challenge that helps raise money for them now and set up an endowment for them later. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky created the challenge as a way of ensuring that the nonprofits in Perry County can remain funded even during times when donations are slim.
The charity challenge matches donations gathered by each charity with money pledged to the foundation. Each nonprofit is to raise $10,000 that they can use for projects now, and $10,000 will be set up in an endowment in their name.
So far, more than $69,000 was raised locally which will be matched later. This number will continue to rise as more donations come in and more fundraising is done by the nonprofits. Gerry Roll, executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, said this number should surpass what they were able to raise last year.
This year, three nonprofits were added to the list of participants: The Kentucky River Animal Shelter, the Hazard and Perry County Senior Citizen Center, and the Youth Leadership and Philanthropy Initiative. Returning nonprofit partners were the Buckhorn Children’s Center, Challenger Learning Center, Hazard and Perry County Community Ministries, Housing Development Alliance, Individuals Supporting Bulldog Education, Kentucky Infant Development Station, Care Cottage, Little Flower Clinic, Pathfinders of Perry County, and the Perry County 4H.
Last year under sleeting rain 100 runners and walkers supported the event by completing the 5k race through downtown. This year over 200 came out. Along with the 5k race there was also a one mile kid’s fun run which replaced last year’s kid’s sprint.
The route began at Triangle Park and headed down East Main into the Woodland Park area, and back up to High Street before turning in front of City Hall and back to Triangle Park. The run was represented by local people as well as running enthusiast and volunteers from across the state.
Volunteers had food for sale with the proceeds going towards the event. Each of the nonprofits had informational and team booths.
The Charity Challenge will continue for the rest of the month, ending on October 31. If you still want to donate to one of the nonprofits you can got www.appalachianky.org/run4hills.