Today’s Family Dentistry (TFD) of Searcy is hosting Chip’s Share It Forward 5K to provide Camp Wyldewood scholarships to children in the care of Searcy Children’s Home and children from low-income families in the community.
The second-annual 5K will begin on Saturday, April 16, at 8:30 a.m. at Camp Wyldewood. According to race director and TFD employee Andrea Williams, the goal is to have more than 250 runners, walkers and supporters in attendance to help send children in the White County area to summer camp at Wyldewood.
Williams said she has always had a passion for running, and when TFD looked for ways to reach out to the community, she saw the 5K as a prime opportunity.
“Getting the list of the names of the kids we sent to camp last summer was the most rewarding part,” Williams said. “We sent 22 kids to camp. One mom said she always wanted to go to camp when she was younger but couldn’t, so it’s awesome to see it come full circle for her children.”
According to dentist and Harding alumnus Dr. Jared Cox, the 5K is part of a larger project at TFD — Share It Forward, a campaign to create service opportunities through educational outreach and financial support of nonprofits. According to Cox, TFD donates $500 to a local non-profit for every 500 page likes and testimonials on Facebook.
Cox said another goal of the race is to get Harding students more involved and aware of their impact on the community, especially on the lives of local children.
“For one morning for a couple of hours, we can create a lifelong memory for all of these kids,” Cox said. “Opportunities like this are ways for the students to really create a lifelong impact on other kids in the community. That’s powerful.”
Freshman Camp Wyldewood counselor Jack Henderson emphasized that Camp Wyldewood is where many kids first form a relationship with Christ, and encouraged all students to participate in the 5K.
“It’s heartbreaking to see where some of the kids I counseled came from, but what breaks my heart even more is the thought of the kids never getting the chance to attend and knowing there are others who don’t (get to attend),” Henderson said.
Williams encouraged those who do not plan to run or walk to register for the race and volunteer throughout the day. All registered participants will receive a T-shirt at the event.
To register, visit shareitforward.racesonline.com by April 15. On-site registration will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. on race day. Online registration is $25 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and under. On-site registration is $30 for adults and $20 for ages 12 and under.
Harding students wishing to participate can register online by March 25 and use the code “5off2016” to receive five dollars off the registration fee. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-268-3223.