On Saturday, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky hosted the 5th annual Run For The Hills 5k event. The race benefited 19 local non-profit organizations. Over 400 people pre-registered for the race. Runner and walkers braved the rainy chilly weather to take part in the race.
Since the fire destroyed the historic Grand Hotel on main street last month, a new route had to be planned. The new route began near Hazard City Hall parking lot, followed High Street to East Main, and continued along East Main to Woodland Park. Participants circled Kentucky Blvd in Woodland Park, returned to East Main, and raced through High Street to the finish shoot.
Robin Gallard, associate executive director for Foundation For Appalachian Kentucky, explained that the Foundation modeled the Run for the Hills 5k after a similar event that was based in the western part of the United States.
“The Foundation learned about this type of event from a community foundation out in the western part of the United States, and then a community foundation in western Kentucky picked up the notion and started using it, and we’re seeing success. So we modeled it after The Wild Bill Fund Run in Wyoming, I believe it is,” Gallard said.
As the community foundation, The Foundation hosted Run For The Hills on behalf of the 19 non-profit partners. The non-profits would raise as much money as they could between Aug. 1 – Oct. 31.
“…This is all additional money than what they typically would be raising. That money comes back to them in form of a grant at the end of the campaign, and we match that dollar for dollar up to $10,000 and the match money then is invested with the assets of the community foundation in a long-term permanent endowment on behalf of that non-profit organization and they receive a distribution off of that every year,” Gallard explains.
So far, Run For The Hills has raised over $110,000 and could potentially raise more than they have in previous years.
“Between what the partners have raised and match money as well, we have raised over $110,000 at this point. So, we are not sure if we will hit as much as we have raised in the past, but this point we are on target to do that,” said Gallard.
Gallard feels the biggest goal for the Run for the Hills event, is to increase the amount of community participation, and those who donate back to their community.
“Raising the donations is good, but it is better to have, just as good to have, more people contributing, the more people in the community embracing this notion and participating. If all of us give, the pie gets bigger,” she said.
Gallard believes that the surrounding communities have begun to take notice of the event, and become more involved.
“Last year we had just over 300 people who were pre-registered, this year we have over 400 people. So, lots more of our community members are beginning to step up and go to bat for their favorite non-profits, ” Gallard explains.
Brandon Gayheart took first place with the time of 17:58, second place went to Leonard Burks with the time of 20:13, and third place went to Randall Watts with the time of 20:47.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.