Marla Jones, Sports Editor
RAINSVILLE, Ala. — After a year hiatus, the Santa Dash returns to kickoff the 2016 Rainsville Christmas Parade on December 10, 2016 at 4 pm. The first year’s race was such a success that a race was not needed to fund Christmas for needy children last year.
Two years ago, Jerry Clifton and several others, noticed a great need in our community. “There were children in area, who would not receive a present at Christmas” said Race Director, Jerry Clifton. A group of runners, put together what is known as the Santa Dash.
The Santa Dash is a one-mile dash, walk or run. The last Santa Dash that was held, raised well over $20,000. Several different organizations followed the Santa Dash lead and were able to fund presents for needy children in their communities. That money was earmarked only to buy Christmas presents. This year, Clifton decided to host another race to help other organizations.
This year, The Santa Dash will team up with Backpack of Blessings. “Backpacks of Blessings is done throughout the county to help schools provide meals for children who might not have meals on the weekend” said Jerry Clifton. “The food is prepared and packed and given to the children on Friday afternoons before they go home for the weekend.” According to Clifton, several different churches in the area are involved in this ministry.
The entry fee for the Santa Dash is $30. Everyone that registers prior to December 1, 2016 will receive a Santa Dash shirt. The fastest male and female winner will receive a medal. You can find registration forms at Body Vision Fitness Center, Rainsville Carpet Center, First State Bank in Rainsville, Southern Torch or online at racesonline.com.
“Laura Hulgan from First State Bank and Pam Willingham of Body Vision Fitness Center have greatly helped in planning this event” Clifton said. “Any business or individual that would like donate, we would love for you too.”
Lineup for the race will be at the front of the parade at the Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, beginning at 3:30 p.m. You can pick up your Santa Dash shirt at the Rainsville Carpet Center on Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. or on race day from 2 to 3:30 p.m. You can signup on the day of the race but you are not guaranteed a shirt after December 1, 2016.
Checks should be made out to Rainsville Santa Dash. Race forms can be mailed to P.O. Box 1084 Rainsville, Alabama 35986.