Many central Ohio residents will run April 5 to help area homeless teens.
The Gahanna Knights of Columbus organization has partnered with Together in Christ and St. Matthew High School's youth ministry to host the sixth annual TIC 5K Run/Walk, starting at Creekside Plaza at 10 a.m.
Columbus agencies assist more than 1,500 homeless people under age 21 every year, according to St. Matthew youth director Travis Burtch. That number doesn't include those living in Columbus homeless camps, he said.
Through ministry, some of the agencies Burtch has worked with to help homeless youth are the Star House, providing a safe respite for homeless youth ages 14-24 on Ohio State University's campus; the Huckleberry House in downtown Columbus; and the Youth Empowerment Program, with multiple facilities in the central Ohio area.
Race proceeds will benefit Together in Christ, which hosts such activities as the Christmas party for homeless teens, sponsors retreats for its members and attends the Catholic Youth Summer Camp.
Jared Ellerbrock, a Knights member, said the fun run nets about $2,000 annually. Over the past five years, slightly more than $10,000 has been raised for charity, he said.
"My group, the Gahanna Knights of Columbus, teams up with Together In Christ to raise money for various causes, Ellerbrock said. "TIC is a youth-centric group that meets at St. Matthew's Church. The first four years of the race were held at St. Matthew's, and the course looped around the neighborhood around the church."
Last year, he said, the race route was moved to Creekside.
"The change in venue was received very positively from repeat runners, and the local businesses were very supportive to the runners both before and after the race." Ellerbrock said.
The race will start in downtown Gahanna and travel along running trails through Creekside Park.
Discounts will be provided for signing up in groups online: premierraces.com. Anyone who pre-registers is guaranteed a shirt. Limited quantities will be available on race day.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. April 5. Cost is $25 per person, $80 for a family of four and $100 for a family of five. Plaques will be awarded to the top three males and females.
Sponsors include Gahanna's Signatures, Eckl Parking Co., Mustang Football League, Vertis Communications, Vorisek Financial Corp. and XLN Systems.