United Way kicks off fall campaign with 5K race
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Don’t be surprised if you see people running, literally, toward the downtown area Friday. On this night, there will be lots of activities going on including the BB&T Sunset Run/Walk 5K.
Runners of different ages and skill levels will participate in the second annual event beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The race kicks off the United Way fall campaign on the same night as Friday Night Out, a free event sponsored by Downtown Salisbury Inc.
The annual soapbox derby will also take place the same night. The night’s activities are from 5 to 9 p.m.
All proceeds from the race go to the United Way.
Friday night is an opportunity to create awareness about the Rowan County United Way and the 16 agencies in our community it funds, said Michelle Patterson, public relations chair for this year’s campaign.
“The Rowan County United Way and its agencies help ensure that essential health and human services are provided to Rowan County,” Patterson said.
A goal has yet to be set for this year’s campaign. Last year’s campaign goal was $1.65 million.
Earlier this month, the United Way announced that F&M Bank President Steve Fisher will serve as this year’s campaign chair.
Patterson said the kick-off event provides an “opportunity for the Rowan County United Way and its agencies to give back to the community” which has supported them in the past and which will be asked for support again during this year’s campaign.
The kickoff committee has been working for several months to plan the event. The goal was to make it a fun-filled night the entire family can enjoy, Patterson said.
This year’s kickoff festivities will be in the 200 block of South Main Street.
Patterson explained this location provides more space and the committee has been able to plan many more activities than in years past.
Some of the activities include:
• The Moorehead Band, performances from 5:30-9 p.m.
• Soap Box Derby, begins at 6 p.m. on Main Street.
Also available will be pony rides, inflatables, corn hole, face painting, Bingo, the fire department’s smoke house and the Fibrant trailer.
The Kiwanis Club will serve food.
“We hope families will bring their friends and neighbors for what is going to be a wonderful ‘Friday Night Out’ in Downtown Salisbury,” Patterson said. “Bring a lawn chair and enjoy some great music, great food and fun activities.”
The Sunset Run/Walk 5K has been designated the location of the state championship series. The winner will be the North Carolina Champion.
The kids half-mile Fun Run, which is sponsored by Rowan Regional Medical Center, starts at 7:30 p.m. This year’s kids race is starting earlier.
After last year’s race, organizers decided from a safety standpoint to have the children run first while it’s still light out, said Brian Miller, city executive for BB&T in Salisbury.
The adult race begins around 8 p.m.
Miller said they expect as many runners as they had last year, if not more. Last year, they had about 425 participants.
Race forms are available at the Hurley Family YMCA in Salisbury, the Corrhier South Rowan YMCA in China Grove and Hall Gym also in Salisbury. A form may be printed online at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org or active.com.
Other event sponsors include Salisbury-Rowan Runners Club, the city of Salisbury, Rowan County, Cheerwine, Food Lion, SportTrax, Kluttz Reamer (law firm) and Downtown Salisbury Inc.
There is still a need for volunteers to man the street intersections during the race. For more information about volunteering, contact the Rowan County United Way by Wednesday at 704-633-1802.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.