The North Carolina Deaf-Blind Associates (NCDBA), a partner with the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC), chose to host the Helen Keller Southeast Run/Walk 5K for the second year in a row at Central Park in King on Saturday.
“We love this community and environment it gives our walkers and runners,” said event coordinator Bud Cayton. “Last year when looking for a place to come we wanted to find somewhere safe. We looked at big cities like Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, but this is a fundraiser and we wanted to go to a place that would be more economical and give us the opportunity to raise as much money as we can to give back. King, North Carolina does that for us.”
Last year the event drew in more than $10,000 and 101 participants came out in support. This year the goal was to raise $12,000 and add more runners.
“The hope is after we get done assessing everything, we’ll have exceeded our goal,” Cayton said. “We had 122 online registrations and about 30 more walk-ups today. That was good to see on a rainy day that could have kept people away.”
Before the race began, King City Major Jack Warren addressed participants and presented Cayton with a check for $1,500 from the King Lion’s Club.
“I’ve been with the Lion’s Club for 27 years,” Warren said. “This event falls right in line with what we are about. We want to give back to our communities. We are honored that Bud and the NCDBA chose our city to host their event. We thought it was a great success last year and look forward to our partnership and hosting them in 2018.”
According to HKNC Executive Director Sue Ruzenski, an estimated 2.4 million people in the United States live with combined vision and hearing loss.
“An event like the 5K Helen’s Run/Walk is a fun yet important way to raise funds to expand and enhance services with the deaf-blind community,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to spend the morning running or walking with friends, family, and co-workers for a good cause.”
Robert Money can be reached 336-749-1193.