By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON — —
The Lifeboat Alliance Fundraising Committee is galvanizing the community at large to go on a Homeless Hike for the New Life Family Shelter.
Event chair Laurie Fowler said a walk-a-thon and 5k run will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, with registration at 10 a.m. and the event start at 11 a.m. The event will be held at the New Life Family Shelter at 1717 Jefferson, she said.
“Father John Iffert is in charge of fundraising for the Lifeboat Alliance, and so they started several different committees to help the homeless shelter,” she said. “Our Homeless Hike is based on a Hunger Hike in Lafayette, Indiana, that Father John was involved in.”
Fowler said the priest at St. Mary Church thought the similar event worked well and was a great fundraiser, so he encouraged the idea in Mt. Vernon. The committee is hoping to raise between $10,000 and $30,000 through the walk and run.
Participants are encouraged to get pledges before walking or running in the event, she said. There’s no minimum pledge to participate in the walk, though there is a $20 fee for the 5k run. Runners or walkers who contribute $50 will receive an event T-shirt, Fowler said.
“We’re trying to get area groups to participate,” she said. “We are trying to make this a fun challenge. Whichever person raises the most money, they will get bragging rights, and get to lead the start of the race next year.”
Fowler said organizers have been reaching out to school and church groups as well as other community groups to get them involved. The youth organization that raises the most money for the event will win a pizza party, she said. Prizes for top runners and walkers will be gift certificates or shoes.
The committee began organizing the event in earnest about three months ago, Fowler said.
“We decided we wanted to try to do it before the end of the year,” she said. “Next year we’ll be a little more organized and have a lot more participation.”
To participate, those interested may contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or get a sign-up sheet from Lifeboat Alliance Executive Director Jenny O’Daniel at the shelter at 1717 Jefferson. Organizers would like participants to have registered by the week before the race, Fowler said, but registration will also be conducted the day of the race.
Event sponsors include Arthur Agency, Banterra Bank, Century 21, Community First Bank, Crossroads Cleaning, Crossroads Community Hospital, Ford Square, Jax Asphalt Company, Minor League, Rend Lake Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc., Sandberg, Phoenix and Von Gontard PC, The Frosty Mug Bar and Grill, Owen and Pam Allen and Jana Yocom, PC.