The Prairie Township Community Foundation will kick off its efforts to raise funds for the Galloway Road Sports Complex with a run along Broad Street for people of all abilities.
The Freedom Run 5K will step off at 8 a.m. June 30. Racers will start and finish on West Broad Street and will follow a route that will take them through the Lincoln Village neighborhood north of Broad Street.
Registration is $25 per person and proceeds will benefit the newly established Prairie Community Foundation.
The township earlier this year established a fund through the Columbus Foundation, an organization that manages charitable funds, trusts and endowments for organizations throughout central Ohio. Prairie Township trustees also named eight residents to an oversight board to help guide the foundation's efforts.
"It's going to be a showcase, right down Broad Street," board member Troy Walton said. "We're calling it the Freedom Run -- it gives people who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate in an event like this the freedom to run."
Walton is a volunteer "teammate" with Team Heart & Sole, a central Ohio nonprofit group that produces and promotes inclusive races for people with disabilities. He said he expects more than 100 runners to participate and expects dozens of the Team Heart & Sole "champions" -- runners of different abilities -- to participate.
"We looked at it and thought it would be a great way to do a fundraiser for the foundation," said James Gant, the township's recreation director.
The money raised will be used to develop an "adaptive" field at the township's Galloway Road Sports Complex for use by people with mobility challenges.
The field is included in plans for the second phase of construction for the sports complex, which is slated to open in 2019. There currently is no funding identified for that portion of the project, although the township expects to receive a $500,000 state grant, Gant said.
Plans call for the second phase to include the adaptive field and additional parking and is estimated to cost $1.8 million in total, Gant said.
Township officials said they hope people will line up early to watch the annual Westland Fourth of July Parade, also scheduled for June 30, which will immediately follow the run on Broad Street.
"It's going to be awe-inspiring to see people who can't normally participate in events cruising down Broad Street," Walton said. "I see the West Side being for everyone. This is a race that highlights the inclusion of our society and our side of town."
Registration for the race as well as general donations can be made online at racepenguin.com/events/freedom-run/