HAZARD — The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky held a “Dine to Donate” Run for the Hills kickoff celebration at Applebee’s on Friday. The event served as the beginning of a three-month, donation-matching campaign to raise money for 17 local non-profit groups.
Robin Gabbard, the Foundation’s associate executive director, said the event, which is in its fourth year, drew a crowd of hundreds. The event originally included 13 non-profits in Perry County, she said, so the addition of four new groups over the last few years speaks to the importance and success of fundraising efforts.
Gabbard explained that the non-profits will work to raise as much money as they can between August 1 and October 31. They will work to raise money in a variety of ways, she continued, from bake sales to galas.
“Whatever amount that they raise during that 3-month time period is granted back to them in an operational grant,” she said.
An official brochure about the Run for the Hills Charity Challenge notes that the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky will also work to raise money during this time period through local Charity Challengers with the Foundation providing “up to $150,000 to match funds raised by the non-profits for their permanent endowment.”
The list of non-profit groups involved in the campaign reflects a broad base of community services.
The 17 charities are Buckhorn Children & Family Services, Cameron Taylor Hoskins Foundation, Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky, Coal for Kids, Hazard Community & Technical College, Hazard Perry County Community Ministries, Hazard Perry County Senior Citizens, Housing Development Alliance, Individuals Supporting Bulldog Education (ISBE), KY Infant Development Station (KIDS), Care Cottage (KRCAC), KY River Regional Animal Shelter, Little Flowers Clinic (KMHA), Pathfinders of Perry County, Perry County 4-H, Rotary Foundation Imagination Library, and Youth Leadership & Philanthropy Initiative.
Gabbard said the two new groups this year are the Rotary Foundation Imagination Library and Coal for Kids.
The Run for the Hills Charity Challenge will also again feature the Run for the Hills 5K on Saturday, October 4. Anyone can participate in the race to support their favorite cause, Gabbard said. She said the event is also a way to promote health and wellness, with people running and walking, and that there is also a Youth Fun Run in which kids ages 8 to 13 are encouraged to participate.
According to Gabbard, the total amount of funds raised at the kickoff celebration will not be known until Friday, August 22. She anticipates a press conference to be held on that day at Applebee’s.
For more information about forming a team, volunteering, or sponsoring the event, please visit www.appalachianky.org or call 606-439-1357.
Mindy Miller can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.