Meceola Children’s Council Walk, Roll, Run 5K set for Sunday

RAISING AWARENESS: The Meceola Children's Council Walk, Roll, Run 5K will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Big Rapids Middle School with registration beginning at 2 p.m. Pictured, participants in last year's race head up Riverwalk toward Northend Riverside Park. (Pioneer file photo)

RAISING AWARENESS: The Meceola Children’s Council Walk, Roll, Run 5K will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Big Rapids Middle School with registration beginning at 2 p.m. Pictured, participants in last year’s race head up Riverwalk toward Northend Riverside Park. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — While prizes for first place will be awarded, the true goal of the Meceola Children’s Council Walk, Roll, Run 5K is awareness.

The goal of the event is to bring attention to the child abuse and neglect happening within our communities, said Amy Eddinger, executive director of the Youth Attention Center.

“It’s important that we work together to stop child abuse and neglect as a community,” she said.

The run will begin with registration at 2 p.m., followed by the race starting at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, behind Big Rapids Middle School, 500 N. Warren Ave.

Families are encouraged to enter with their children, and for those who don’t want to attempt the entire course, a two-mile walking loop is available.

“We would like families to participate in the event to help support local families,” Eddinger said. “All proceeds raised will stay within our local community to help families in need.”

The course will begin and end at Big Rapids Middle School, with racers running along the Riverwalk toward Northend Riverside Park and looping back to the school for a distance of a little more than three miles, Eddinger said. The two-mile walk option also starts from the middle school and continues on Riverwalk until participants see a sign near Swede Hill that they’ve reached the one-mile mark and can turn around.

First-place prizes will be awarded for both youth and adult divisions.

Registration is by donation. Participants will receive a blue long-sleeved t-shirt while supplies last. About 60 people have pre-registered for the race, but more are always welcome.

This is the third year the Meceola Children’s Council has sponsored a race to raise awareness. The event typically takes place on the last Sunday in April, known as Blue Sunday, because it’s a day set aside to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect, Eddinger said. This year’s event had to be moved because another event was already scheduled for that date.

“Families are encouraged to attend to help bring awareness and wear blue if possible,” she added.

Organizers hope the annual race will continue to grow. Last year, there were approximately 50 competitors.

The Meceola Children’s Council is a nonprofit organization that meets at 9 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at Meceola Central Dispatch. The meetings are open to the public.

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Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

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