Fort Payne Optimist Club’s 9th Annual ‘Race to Embrace’
April 21, 2017
Southern Torch (3918 articles)

Fort Payne Optimist Club’s 9th Annual ‘Race to Embrace’

 PHOTO: Steven Ross after receiving his trophy with LaCee Kirk From Plainview High School. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne Optimist Club hosted their 9th Annual “Race to Embrace” at Wildcat Stadium at Fort Payne High School earlier today (Friday, April 21). Volunteers and students from all over DeKalb County Participated in the groups annual event, filled with fun games for the special needs students of DeKalb County Schools and The City of Fort Payne.

‘Race to Embrace’ staff call forward the teams to be presented their trophies. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

“This is our ninth year having the event,” said Fort Payne Optimist Club President Brian Baine. “It’s a great day for these students to get outside and enjoy themselves.”

“We have a lot of businesses and volunteers from all over the county pitch in to make this day a huge success,” said Baine. “Next year will be our 10th year, and we’re planning on doing it big to celebrate 1o great years of, ‘Race to Embrace!'”

‘Race to Embrace’ is truly a community effort, with organizations such as the Fort Payne Times-Journal, members of the DeKalb County Young Republicans, and students from Northeast Alabama Community College pitching in to help make this heart-warming event happen. Gadsden State Community College’s Nursing Program also participated; manning the first aid station. Each school also brought other students to help with the event.

Fort Payne optimist club and city council members Johnny Eberhart and Lynn Brewer were there to volunteer and help promote the event.

“It was just a great atmosphere and a great day,” said Eberhart. “We’re really glad to help with such an amazing thing.”

Brewer pointed out what to her was the best part of the day, “the best part is seeing all the smiles during the trophy presentation.”

For this year’s event, participants were blessed with perfect whether, and the atmosphere couldn’t have been better. After finishing the games, students from each school were called up and all were presented with trophies, and everyone was all smiles to have their picture taken!

Rhonda Bynes with her friend and their trophies! (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Valley Head Police Chief Nick Welden with Luther Jennings after being presented his trophy. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Cole Wagner from Fyffe with a ‘Race to Embrace’ contestant. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Team from Collinsville with their trophies! (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Team from Geraldine! (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

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