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Virtual 5k raises $31,447 and counting

Children running for child hunger reliefr

The Michigan Annual Conference launches an initiative against Child Hunger with a 5K Walk-Run-Ride that so far totals $31,447.

KAY DEMOSS
Senior Content Editor

Troy Korean participants in 5K
Someone celebrated a birthday walking the 5K against child hunger. Best wishes! ~ photo courtesy Troy Korean UMC

June 9, 2021 | LANSING — The 5K tradition in The Michigan Conference is now five years old. The first three Walk-Run-Ride events were held in Acme, MI, on the grounds of the Grand Traverse Resort. In 2020 the 5K multiplied across many venues as persons, groups, and churches took part wherever they were. That faith-on-the-go effort involved 200 people across six states and raised over $9,100 for disaster recovery from the Mid-Michigan floods of May 2020.

Conference Planner Nancy Arnold has good news to share this year. Before Annual Conference she said, “We’ve been reminded through these virtual experiences of the gracious and generous nature of the people of The United Methodist Church. The registrations and early donations from this year’s 5K have already topped over $23,527!” (And the total is growing.)

The cause this year is hungry children. Arnold notes that 100% of donations and registrations relieve child food insecurity in Michigan. In addition, the cost of shirts, bibs, and bandanas was covered by paid sponsor revenue. 

She estimates that $10 provides weekend food for one child for a month and $100 provides weekend food for one child for a year. 

Troy Korean was among early responders, raising $12,032 through registration and donations. They held their event on May 23. Due to a rainy forecast, they offered their participants the option to do their race at home. They still had 35 persons who returned to walk/run/ride 15 laps around the parking lot. Local Troy police were on-site to assist with traffic at the starting line.

Peter Bartlett, retired pastor, was unable to complete a 5K. So, Bartlett asked his grandchildren to each walk, run or ride 1 kilometer on his behalf. Three grandchildren in Michigan and two in New York were glad to do this for their grandpa. A creative way to accomplish the 5K goal!

A member of Hart United Methodist Church, Maureen Huizing, 78-years-young, reports that she ran the 3.1 miles in 34 minutes and 25 seconds at a pace of 11.066. Want to go, Maureen!

Arnold is aware of churches sponsoring events on June 6. These include Clarkston First, Holland First, GR Trinity, Ypsilanti First, Chelsea First, and Owosso UMCs. “We are grateful for the impact this will have on the children of Michigan,” she said. “We are excited to learn what the total donations will be from these efforts. We will provide a follow-up story with details and pictures.”

Southfield Hope participates in the 5K
Southfield Hope took to the street on June 6 to step out against child hunger in the state of Michigan. They walked, biked, and strolled in the heat for a good cause. The church, along with neighbors from Emmanuel Lutheran, raised $2,600. ~  photo courtesy Dale Milford

Southfield Hope UMC hosted a Conference Sunday event. They invited neighboring Emmanuel Lutheran to join them on June 6. The Rev. Dale Milford, Executive Pastor at Southfield Hope, reports, “June 6 was also the first in-person worship for us since fall, held outdoors. Our 5K then started at 1:45. Crazy in that heatwave!” Registration was done on Eventbrite. The 55 persons who completed the 5K (seven from Emmanuel Lutheran) were walkers, runners, bikers, trikers, and strollers, Milford adds. “We started from Hope after a devotional prayer, went south to Emmanuel Lutheran, crossed the road with the help of the Southfield Police, and returned to Hope. It was a glorious, sunshiny day where we truly could be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Elizabeth and Lucy do the 5K
The Rev. Elizabeth Hurd, the pastor of Caledonia UMC, and parsonage pet, Lucy, completed their 5K on June 4. ~ photo courtesy Elizabeth Hurd

Some with four paws are also committed to the 5K event. Planners ordered 50 bandanas for lucky dogs to participate. Cat owners also wanted in on the action. All 50 bandanas were sold for $10 each. So, taking a walk with your dog or cat provides a child with weekend food for a month. Pet names and faces are posted on the 5K website. Nancy says more pet bandanas have been ordered and will arrive in a few weeks; available for a $10 donation.

5K participants are asked to post pictures to the Michigan Conference of the UMC Facebook page, using the #MIUMC5K. Photos may also be emailed to Nancy Arnold for posting at narnold@michiganumc.org.

Let’s keep running up that total! It is not too late to register to participate or make a donation. Contribute by credit or debit card here.

Mail a check, noting 5K/Child Hunger in the memo line to: Michigan Conference Center North, Attn: Accounts Receivable, 1161 E. Clark Rd., Suite 212, DeWitt, MI 

Thank you for contributing to Conference Day of Action on June 6 and the ongoing efforts to combat childhood hunger in Michigan. Nancy Arnold says with gratitude, “We’ve learned Michigan United Methodists don’t need a stopwatch to win. They just need a cause and their generous spirits overflow. We are blessed!”