Total funds raised for the Van Buren County Food Banks through the help of sponsorships, donations, and race entries. The Hunger Run is a team effort!
2017 Board members and food bank recipients shown Karen Ruiz, Claude Ruiz, Jessica Crabtree, Elisa McKinney, Jerrie Bonds, Meagin Warren, Debbie Lawrence, Belinda Pack, Stacy Isom, Scott Spencer, Shannon Smith and Kim Beard.
Not pictured: Karla Jones, Tiffany Jones and Laura Keith
Members of the 2015 Hunger Run board present donation.
Left to right: Elisa McKinney, Karin Ruiz, Jessica Crabtree, Race Director Meagin Warren, Karla Jones, Claude Ruiz
Organizers of the Clinton Hunger Run 5K are proud to announce the results of another successful event in support of the Van Buren County food banks. The third annual downtown run/walk has far surpassed the previous year’s totals with a donation of $8,000 to be divided between Clinton’s “Foods for Life” and the Choctaw Food Bank. This contribution is made in part with the help of a matching funds grant from Modern Woodmen of America.
The event took place on March 28th with a registration total of 250 in all age groups, from seasoned athletes to first-time runners. Participants and visitors kept the cold at bay with hot coffee courtesy of Rock N’ Java, snacks from the goodie tables, and a lively Zumba warmup, all broadcasted via KGFL’s live remote. Even family pets joined in the fun as people flocked to the downtown area to enjoy music, mingling, and cheering on the runners & walkers. Race director Meagin Warren announced the names of the top finishers in each of the ten age groups as they were awarded medals immediately after the race.
The success of the event itself, and the huge accomplishment of the fundraising team, is an outstanding credit to the participants, volunteers, and nearly 60 local sponsors. Their generosity will make a big impact on the non-stop efforts of those who are fighting hunger in our area throughout the year.
The next Hunger Run is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, 2016.
Members of the 2014 Hunger Run board present donation
Left to right: Betty & Scott Spencer of Foods for Life, Leah Sexton, Jessica Crabtree, Claude & Karin Ruiz (Choctaw Food Bank),
Meagin Warren, Colton & Cadence Warren
A brisk, sunny Saturday morning greeted runners & walkers who joined the enthusiastic crowd of Hunger Run participants on the Clinton Square. Organizers of the 2nd annual 5K fundraiser on March 15 say well over 200 individuals of all ages gathered for the event, some visiting from as far away as Minnesota.
Music, dance, and even an unexpected appearance of “leprechauns” courtesy of Dr. David Warren & family contributed to the lively & upbeat scene. KHPQ Radio broadcasted live at the finish line, starting with top finisher Homer Mason of Witts Springs, AR as he finished the challenging 3.1 mile course in just over 18 minutes. The top overall finishers, and the top 5 finishers in each age group of runners and walkers, male and female, received medals for their efforts. Participants’ ages ranged from 4 to 81.
Race founder Whitteni Hale describes the project as a way to get all ages and fitness levels involved to impact the community in a fun, family-friendly way. Runner & walker registrations, donations, and sponsorships from local businesses all help the initiative raise money to benefit the Van Buren County food banks. Last year, the Hunger Run raised a combined total of $4,000 for Clinton’s “Foods for Life” and the Choctaw Food Bank. This year’s event topped the previous year in both attendance and sponsorships, raising an impressive $5,000 to be divided between the two food banks.
Organizers are grateful for the support of many individuals who joined their volunteer efforts. The 3rd Annual Hunger Run is scheduled for March 28, 2015. Anyone who is interested in being a part of the team effort is invited to get in touch via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last weekend saw the debut of Clinton’s first certified run/walk event, the 5K Hunger Run. Organized by a group of local volunteers, the new event promotes a family-friendly outdoor activity to benefit the county’s two food banks.
Over 200 runners & walkers from as far as Jonesboro, the Little Rock area, and even Oklahoma joined the crowd of enthusiastic volunteers and spectators on the downtown square. The 3.1 mile course – the first of its kind in our area – was certified by Arkansas Track & Field, complete with state-of-the-art chip timing.
KHPQ’s Sid King announced at the finish line via live remote, amidst loud cheers as the 1st place winner in the runner’s category, Todd Hink of Clinton, crossed the finish line in a staggering 18 minutes and 15 seconds.
One of the event’s youngest participants, 5-year-old Colton Warren, won a medal in his age group and is eager to run in the event again. “The hills were the hardest part,” he said, “but the best thing was the people cheering me on & the granola bars at the end!”
Thankfully, the forecasted rain held off, and participants enjoyed the awards ceremonies, where medals were presented to the top finishers in each age group. Ages of participants in both categories ranged from 3 to 80. Despite the challenging hills toward the end of the course, it is suitable for all ages & athletic abilities, including several first-time walkers & runners who left with medals of their own.
“Who would have thought this was your first race!” says Jami Todd of Jonesboro. “The support from your community was amazing, from the volunteers on and off the course to the number of the participants to the sponsors who provided a great goody bag.”
Organizers credit the huge success to a great turnout of registrants and the overwhelming support of volunteers. The impressive list of generous sponsorships from local businesses is also a testament to the strong community spirit.
The Hunger Run is the vision of Race Director Whitteni Hale, a social studies teacher at Clinton Schools and a track enthusiast. Her goal is to revitalize the fight against hunger in our own communities in a way that embraces fun, healthy activity for all ages.
Backing up Whitteni Hale as Race Director is a volunteer board made up of Lori Blagg, Treasurer; Megan Lonnon, Volunteer Coordinator; Leah Sexton; Meagin Warren; Karla Jones; Debbie Lawrence; and Jessica Crabtree.
Scott & Betty Spencer of Clinton’s “Foods for Life” and Claude & Karin Ruiz of the Choctaw Food Bank were actively involved in the event. Together, these non-profit organizations help thousands of struggling families in Van Buren County each year. Last year, the Choctaw Food Bank alone distributed over 200 tons of essential foods.
Following the tremendous show of support for this year’s event, plans are already in the works for next year’s Hunger Run, which promises to be a permanent fixture of the area events calendar!
For race results & more information, visit the Official Hunger Run Website at http://www.clintonhungerrun.com or find them on Facebook.
“This had to be the hardest 5k I have ever been in. Batesville bragged about their hills being tough last year, but they have nothing on Clinton’s course. I was very impressed with the amount of race support, from the water stops on the course to the atmosphere at the beginning. Most 5k’s do not provide the service that this one did to it’s runners. I plan on running again next year mainly to support such a good cause in our community.”
Michael Wells, Greenbrier | Runner
“Very great, exceptionally well organized, and challenging run! I have been looking for the pictures…please advise. Thanks My wife and I will be there again next year.”
Richard Sayner, Clinton | Runner
“Congratulations on a successful race. I just wanted to tell you how impressed I was with the organization of the race from beginning to end. Who would have thought this was your first race! The support from your community was amazing, from the volunteers on and off the course to the number of the participants to the sponsors who provided a great goody bag. I was told that names of racers was announced over the radio as they crossed the finish line allowing those who could/did not participate to have an opportunity to be involved by listening for their loved ones and cheering them. I think that is awesome.
As a walker I want to say that I appreciate the walkers being recognized in age groups as the runners were. Most of the races I do only the top 5 walkers get recognition, if walkers are acknowledged at all. This allowed more “winners” and will hopefully encourage more walkers.
Congratulations again. Looking forward to next year.”
Jami Todd, Jonesboro | Walker