Creekside to host Taking Strides for Kids
Families could help other families by participating in the Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF) Taking Strides for Kids 5K run/walk.
It will be held beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at Gahanna's Creekside, 123 Mill St.
Event chairman Susan Gueli, a Gahanna resident, said this would mark the second year of Taking Strides for Kids.
"Last year for our inaugural run, we hosted over 180 runners/walkers and more than 30 volunteers," she said. "We're very excited to move our run to Gahanna Creekside this year, as it's a beautiful venue for our family-friendly event."
Gueli said DFYF provides prevention, intervention and educational programs to more than 6,600 struggling youth and their families annually, and many more go underserved because of limited funding.
Proceeds from the event will go toward after-school activities at the Short Stop and Ohio Avenue youth centers, where youth benefit from homework help, computer labs, creative and performing arts, and fitness and nutrition programs.
"By participating in our Taking Strides for Kids 5K, you are helping to ensure that DFYF can continue to make our community stronger and healthier, one youth at a time," she said. "This is a great event for the entire family. It's really about families helping families."
Gueli said recreation specialist Zac Guthrie, of the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Department, has been incredibly professional, easy to work with and enthusiastic about bringing the event to Gahanna.
The race route starts and finishes in front of Creekside. Participants will run along the scenic Big Walnut Trail and finish in Olde Gahanna.
"We're planning for an increase in runners/walkers this year," Gueli said. "Kids from DFYF Youth Center will be performing (they have a small band) both before and after the race, and Gahanna and local area businesses have been generous in their donations of snacks/refreshments and other gifts for our event participants."
Pre-registration is available online at dfyf.org. Cost is $30 and includes a timing chip that participants wear on their wrist or shoelace to ensure their run/walk is collected accurately.
Race results are used to identify winners in each age category, and all results will be posted after the race, Gueli said.
Awards will be presented to the top overall male and female finisher, as well as the top three male and female participants in the following groups: 13 and under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and over.
The awards will be unique, hand-crafted Soul Bowls created by youth artists in after-school and summer programs at the DFYF Short Stop Youth Center.
Registration on race day will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and will cost $35.