By ROSIE GITHINJI
INA — —
It’s time to strap jingle bells on your shoes and break out your best Christmas costume to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation at the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.
“Put a little jingle in your step to support our cause,” said Paula Reeves, Southern Illinois director for the Arthritis Foundation. “The jingle bells represent the sound of hope as people are running. And who doesn’t like jingle bells? It’s festive and it’s fun.”
This is the seventh year for the fundraiser, which is held at the Rend Lake College track. The 5K run/walk raises money in hopes of finding a cure for arthritis, Reeves said. So far there are 200 people registered for the 5K run/walk, and Reeves said there is plenty of room for more.
“It’s a painful and unacceptable disease,” Reeves said. “Every dollar that they raise brings us one step closer to a cure.”
Reeves said the foundation hopes to raise $15,000 during the fundraiser. She said the average amount raised has been between $10,000 and $15,000.
“People are coming from all over Southern Illinois to run the race,” she said. “When you run, you are making a difference in the lives of those who can’t run or walk as easily.”
The walk will be this Saturday, Dec. 1. Registration will be from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The “Snowman Stroll” will begin at 8:45 and is not competitive, Reeves said, just a way to show support for the cause.
At 9 a.m., the 5k run will begin, followed by the 5K walk at 9:05 a.m. Awards will be given to the top three from each age group. Reeves said the children who are registered will get their chance to run at 10:10 a.m. for the reindeer run. Each child who participates will receive a medal, Reeves added.
Registration for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is $20 per adult and $10 per child and people can register on Saturday morning, but online registration is closed. Participants in the event will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt, a goodie bag and jingle bells to tie on their shoes. Those who would like to participate in the fundraiser, but don’t want to run, can still bring donations and provide support to the competitors, Reeves said.
“Costumes are encouraged for the run,” Reeves said. “We want to have fun at the event.”
For more information, contact Reeves at 993-1777 or visit jinglebellrendlake.kintera.org for information on the event.