To raise funds for at-risk children in the local communities, the Lakes Area Optimist Club is sponsoring its third annual Run with Attitude 5K/1-Mile that will be held on Sunday, Sept. 23.
The event will take place at the Martin Parkway Project, located north of M-5, between Pontiac Trail and Martin Road. The 5K/I Mile course goes through more than 125 acres of trails, trees, ponds and natural beauty.
The race will start and end at Commerce Township Hall, located at 8600 PGA Drive. Late registration and packet pickup begins at 8 a.m. on Sept. 23, and participants can register online at www.runwithattitude.com.
The event begins promptly at 10 a.m.
Entry costs are $25 per individual for the 5K or $20 for the one-mile race; and $35 per family until Thursday, Sept. 20. After the deadline, costs go up $5.
Entry fees include a t-shirt — with two t-shirts going for a family entry — and string backpack if participants finish the mile.
There will be free food and coffee donated by Great Harvest Bread and Caribou Coffee in Commerce. Entertainment will include music by a DJ, hula hooping, face painting and kids games.
All proceeds raised will be used to purchase educational materials for at-risk children 2- to 6-year-old in the lakes area.
“The goal is to give back to the kids,” said President of the Lakes Area Optimist Club Denise Finnerty, who chairs the event. “We’ve done stockings at Christmas for teens, raised money for elementary school recess equipment, and other recognition events such as youth appreciation for character and essay contests, but we hadn’t focused on this age group and saw a need for early child development. We want to empower moms to help kids out of school be successful.”
The Lakes Area Optimist Club is a contingent of local individuals working together to “bring out the best in kids.” The event is also designed to promote family health and wellness, catering to runners, walkers and whole family participation.
The first Run With Attitude 5K/1-Mile event took place in 2010. All money raised that year was donated to all 14 Walled Lake Consolidated School District elementary schools to purchase new recess equipment. Last year, participation nearly doubled and the proceeds benefited Hospitality House to purchase chicken, a much-needed protein for the families it serves.
“Last year we had 250 participants and raised about $3,000, but I’m hoping for 400 participants this year,” Finnerty said.