Submitted by Dirty Dave’s Pizza
All ghosts and goblins – of any age or ability – should mark their calendars for the second annual Haunted 5k fun run taking place Saturday, October 30, at Woodland Creek Community Park in Lacey. The fun run, which will include a Kids K, benefits All Kids Win. Runners can also choose the virtual race option.
All Kids Win is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that provides supplemental weekend food for at-risk students in Thurston County. The program is committed to ending food insecurity by giving at-risk students the help they need so they can focus on school, go on to graduate and reach their full potential.
The weekend program was created to bridge the gap for students who benefit from government-supported meal programs, which are available only during school days. Each week, All Kids Win volunteers deliver food bags to local middle and high schools in Lacey, Tumwater and Olympia, as well as K-12 schools in Yelm, Rainier, Tenino and Rochester.
“All Kids Win was built by our community to create a better support system for at-risk and food-insecure children in Thurston County,” says Stephanie Hemphill, long-time All Kids Win volunteer and co-founder of Kesh Marketing. “We started out as Homeless Backpacks with just a group of us in a room asking for donations and filling backpacks with food for kids to take home over the weekend. At All Kids Win, we know a hungry child can’t learn and we also know that food insecurity is something our community can address with one bag and, in the case of the Haunted 5k, one run at a time.”
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Hemphill said she and the board of All Kids Win saw the need within the community grow. With no options for safe in-person events and fundraisers, they held their first Haunted 5k virtually. This year, however, the fun run will have both a virtual and in-person option.
Details of the Haunted 5k and Kids K are:
- Register online for either in-person or virtual race option
- Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021
- Location: Woodland Creek Community Park in Lacey
- Registration check-in opens at 9 a.m.
- Kids K begins at 9:40 a.m.
- Haunted 5k race begins at 10 a.m.
COVID-19 protocols will be in place on race day. Runners will observe physical distancing and are required to wear a mask during check-in and while visiting the on-site vendors. Touchless water stops will be provided, volunteers will be masked and cleaning will take place as the race is in progress. Runners who have been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend the race.
The presenting sponsor for the event is Kiley Juergens Wealth Management LCC.
“All Kids Win and the Haunted 5k fun run fit squarely into our values as a company,” says John Kiley, co-owner of Kiley Juergens Wealth Management LCC. “We want a healthy and vibrant community where families thrive and that means helping those who need it the most, particularly our at-risk and food-insecure youth population. We want every kid to win and have a successful future. We are pleased to have the opportunity to be part of something bigger at work to strengthen families.”
Last year’s virtual Haunted 5k had 75 runners. This year, Hemphill hopes it grows 100 runners.
“All proceeds from the run will go to kids in our communities, thanks to our generous sponsors,” Hemphill shares. “We’ve seen the need for nutritional support grow through the pandemic and we would not be able to keep up with demand without local business partners and community support for All Kids Win, including events like the Haunted 5k.”
Hemphill says all race participants – young and young-at-heart – are encouraged to don a Halloween costume for the run. “I think we could all use a little fun and fresh air after the last year-and-a-half of staying home and safe,” she adds. “We welcome all ghosts, goblins, witches and other characters to join in for a safe and family friendly morning run, walk or broom ride.”
The Haunted 5k is just one additional way for residents to give back and have fun at the same time, explains Hemphill, who organizes the group’s events with Kelli Schueler, also a long-time All Kids Win volunteer and founding partner at Kesh Marketing.
“We hope to see everyone out, rain or shine, virtual or in-person, to help All Kids Win continue and maintain and grow its food support program in Thurston County,” Hemphill says. “It’s one small way we can all help every kid win.”
The details of the Haunted 5k are available on the All Kids Win Facebook events page.