By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Some of the summer days faced lately by Tri-County residents have made walking into an air-conditioned building or home a welcoming relief.
But there are some folks in the area suffering both indoors and out — and because of that, Christopher Chiropractic began a fundraising event four years ago to assist people in getting some much-needed AC units in their homes.
That event is the Beat The Heat One Mile Walk/Run, slated to kick off at 8 p.m. tonight at Bill Woods Park in Williamsburg.
Tonight’s Walk/Run is the fourth annual for this fundraiser.
And this year, Walk/Run participants will be moving through cascades of vibrant color.
What does that mean?
According to Matthew Christopher, with Christopher Chiropractic, the sponsor of the Walk/Run, the race will be “in color.”
“This will make the race a whole lot more fun,” Christopher said. “The race itself is geared more toward families and young kids — and with the addition of ‘color’ (the race) will be even more fun and more visual.”
He explained the “color,” is a combination of food-grade cornstarch mixed with non-toxic paint.
“We have 300 pounds of cornstarch mixed with the non-toxic paint,” Christopher said. “Once it gets (thrown) it’s like baby powder.”
He added that all walkers and runners participating are urged to dress in white and finish the race “covered in a sea of bright, life-brightening color.”
“It’s just going to be a whole lot of fun,” Christopher said.
He also said Thursday that pre-registration for the Walk/Run will go until 2 p.m. today.
Race T-shirts are guaranteed for all pre-registered walker/runners, and may be provided to other walker/runners while supplies last.
However, Christopher said he believes those T-shirt supplies will run out.
“We are going to have a bigger turnout than expected,” he said. “More folks have pre-registered already for the race this year than participated in last year’s race.”
Awards will be given for the top overall male and female runners and the top three male and top three female racers in each age division. Master and grand master prizes will also be awarded.
Participants planning to register before 2 p.m. may do so with a $12 fee.
Those unable to register early will still be able to register before tonight’s race. Walkers and runners should meet at Bill Woods Park in downtown Williamsburg between 6:30-7:30 p.m. to register — the registration fee then is $15.
Race packets are also available for pickup tonight from 7-7:45 p.m.
All proceeds from the race will be used to purchase air conditioners for those in need. Last year’s race generated enough funds to purchase 19 air conditioners distributed by the Whitley County Health Department and the Bell Whitley Community Action Agency to needy families in the Tri-County.
This year, a portion of the proceeds will also be given to Mountain Outreach to purchase central air conditioning for the house of a needy family.
“Both of these organizations are good, worthy causes,” Christopher said. “We’re going in two different routes, but there’s more money to give away — we are excited about it.”
And if it rains?
“It may even be more fun if it rains,” Christopher said. “But the race will go on.”
He did offer a few words of caution.
While the ingredients for the paint are non-toxic, the powder it creates could cause issues for those with breathing issues, such as asthma or COPD. Christopher said to bring a scarf or something to cover their mouth and noses if they worried it could be a problem.
He also said while the colors shouldn’t stain clothes, to be safe, bring towels to place on the vehicle seats. “
It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said. “That’s tough to replace.”
For those not able to attend or participate in tonight’s race but would still like to assist in getting AC units into homes, Christopher said donations will be accepted.
“A lot of businesses have already donated,” he said.
For more information, contact Christopher at 606-549-4811, or call Kathy Lay at 606-549-3380.
By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
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