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LAKE WYLIE --
Local groups are hoping Lake Wylie area residents will run with them to help raise money for their causes.
Three family-friendly 5K runs and walks have been planned within a month’s time, starting with two this weekend.
Lake Wylie Children’s Charity 5K is Saturday, Nov. 17, in Lake Wylie. The Cheer Challenge 5K run/walk is Sunday, Nov. 18, in Clover for Lake Wylie Athletic Association’s cheerleaders. Santa’s Sleigh 5K on Dec. 15 will be held at The Landing neighborhood in Lake Wylie to benefit two Clover High School programs.
“There are three opportunities to run and support local charities,” said Amy Rose, manager of Anytime Fitness in Lake Wylie. “There’s always room for more and people who will do them all.”
Anytime Fitness, helping with all three by being the location for registration form pickup and drop off, is hosting the first 5K run or walk on Saturday to help Lake Wylie Children’s Charity. The nonprofit annually raises money through several events that culminate with a fall benefit concert to help local families faced with child cancer pay for medical expenses.
“We have a lot of members involved in that charity,” Rose said. “Being in the fitness industry and being a runner, I thought what better way to help others in our community.”
Rose said it’s a “non-competitive charity run/walk” that will start at 8:30 a.m. leaving from the gym and wind through Forest Oaks neighborhood.
“It’s not an official timed event,” she said. “I’ll be standing with a stop watch.”
Rose said she wants to encourage everyone to come out and help the cause. She also wanted to keep costs down so the money goes straight to the charity.
“We have many area businesses and sponsors who have donated prizes,” she said. “Everyone who registers will be entered in the drawing. We have a lot going on.”
There’s a lot going on the next day, too.
Lake Wylie Athletic Association cheerleaders are hoping runners and walkers will come out to Clover High School for the first Cheer Challenge 5K and children’s one-mile event to help send them to nationals.
A little more competitive, the run/walk is being timed by Lee Timing Co., and organizers Dina Smith and Lesley Wilson say the top runners will receive an award. The course is part road, part cross country.
The 16 cheerleaders on the LWAA Junior Pee Wee Squad will head to regional’s Nov. 23. Like the past two years, they plan to compete the first week of December in Pop Warner Cheer Championship nationals at Disney World in Florida. In the past, Wilson said, the girls have held fundraisers to offset the cost of the trip by holding car washes and cookie dough sales to selling Auto Bell tickets and relying on sponsors, too.
Smith, who has run everything from 5Ks to marathons since she started running four years ago, says it’s a family-friendly event and her two children will participate, too.
“I’ve always run in them, but this is the first we’re organizing,” said Smith.
They hope Sunday’s event adds to their pot “reaching for gold.”
“If one girl can’t afford to go, we all can’t go,” Smith said. “It’s a team, and all funds raised goes to the team.”
Another group who understands being a part of a team is the Clover High School AFJROTC. Lake Wylie’s Santa Sleigh 5K and kids 2.5K being held Dec. 15 at The Landing benefits ROTC Core booster club and Project UNIFY for Special Olympics, said organizer Brian Batson of Lake Wylie. In fact, ROTC members also will volunteer at Saturday’s Lake Wylie Children’s Charity 5K.
“I just need participants now,” said Batson, a runner who helped organize races at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in Raleigh, N.C., before retiring from the military.
This race, like Saturday’s at Anytime Fitness, is “more of a fun run.” It won’t be officially timed, Batson said, but there will be a log of the finish order.
The 5K will start at the McSpadden Building in Shoppes at the Landing and run through The Landing subdivision.
“It’s a pretty run,” said Batson, who lives and runs there.
Want to help?
Three 5Ks are planned in the Lake Wylie area: