Run/bike now for Christmas later

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 Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Kayla Crager (far left), 13, and Christian Crager (far right), 9, get into the Christmas spirit to help Lt. Mark Foster of the London Fire Department and Kathy Dabe of Madison County Job & Family Services promote the Holiday Helpers Firefighter Toy Drive 5-K.

Ready. Set. Ho, ho, ho!

It’s August, but Madison County Job & Family Services and the London Fire Department are already thinking about Christmas. Together with the London Parks and Recreation Department, they are hosting the Holiday Helpers Fire-fighter Toy Drive 5-K.

Set for Aug. 11, the event invites individuals and families to walk, run or bike the 3.1-mile course, which will start and end at the London Fire Department, 103 E. High St.

“We did a 5-K two years ago, and we wanted to do the same idea again,” said Kathy Dabe, Holiday Helpers chairperson. “We do fundraisers throughout the year, but most of them are in-house at Job & Family Services. This is more for the public and an active way for people to participate beyond donating toys.”

Proceeds from the 5-K will go toward the purchase of toys and other gifts for underprivileged children at Christmas.

The cost to enter is $20 per person or $25 per family of up to four members. The entry fee on the day of the race is $25 per person or $30 per family. The first 100 registrants get t-shirts.

Registration starts at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 11; the race starts at 9.

The course runs from the fire station, along Walnut Street, to Park Street, to Main Street. Once entrants round the corner onto Garfield, they will hit the one-mile mark. As they head down Garfield, they’ll loop around Thomas Lane, then back onto Garfield. Just before turning onto Elm Street, they’ll hit the two-mile mark. From Elm, the course goes back to Park, then Hawthorne, then around the corner and back to the fire station. Water will be available at each mile marker.

For a pre-registration form, stop by Madison County Job & Family Services at 200 Midway St., London, or call Kathy Dabe at 740-852-6002. Forms also may be filled out the day of the race.

The Holiday Helpers Firefighter Toy Drive brightens the holidays for over 700 children representing over 300 families in Madison County. Community members and groups donate money to the programs or “adopt” needy families for whom they purchase toys.

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