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Race the Reaper 5k raised money for family support center

October 30th, 2014 Posted in Sports

By Katie Larsen Lambert

NORTH LOGAN — Outrunning death wasn’t the only purpose for the Race the Reaper 5k.  The event, which incorporated Utah State University’s cross country team, was a fundraiser for the Child and Family Support Center.

“They (the proceeds) will all go towards our Child Abuse Center,” said Esterlee Molyneux, executive director of the center. “We have a deficiency in funding right now.”

While the center does everything it can to prevent child abuse, there has been a recent influx in children coming to the center after experiencing abuse, Molyneux said.

“We are a private, non-profit center and agency,” Molyneux said. “Everything that we work to do is to prevent child abuse from happening, but we are there when it does happen. What we do besides shelter children is they live with us, but then they also go to therapy and counseling while we help to rehabilitate the parents. And get the family functioning and get them back together again.”

Jason Pond, owner of the Logo Shop and one of the organizers of the 5k, said that the reason they chose to donate the proceeds to the center was because it is a resource for many Cache Valley families. “The Child and Family Support Center is a resource in Cache Valley that we are in definite need of,” Pond said. “It blesses the lives of a lot of young people and families.”

Having the 5k at night not only made it unique from other charity races but contributed to the overall Halloween atmosphere, Pond said.

“We needed something at night, something Halloweeny,” Pond said. “Everyone does a 5k but how many 5ks are there at night?”

It also created another way for the cross country team to be involved. Besides certain team members dressing up as grim reapers to chase costumed participants, the team handed out flyers on USU’s campus, built the course and kept participants from straying into the dark beyond.

“It’s part of the community service project for our cross country team,” said Eric Shellhorn, a senior studying civil engineering. “We handed out flyers and stuff around campus, and then we set up the course. We put up all the flags and make sure people don’t get lost while they are out there running.”

The service hours from the cross country team were what helped make the 5k possible, Pond said.

“We had a great collaboration with the USU cross country team.” Pond said. “They really added a lot of manpower for us in the course set up.”

The work put into creating the 5k, and the results from that work, show what a difference can be made for the community Molyneux said.

“I just give my hats off to these coordinators,” Molyneux said. ”They are reflective that everyone in our community can do something to help and have the power to make a difference in another child’s life or in an adult’s life.”

The 5k may even become an annual event, as Pond’s piece of advice was for those who missed this year to attend next year.

“If you didn’t come this year, please come next year,” Pond said.


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