CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On Friday, the city of Charleston will sponsor the annual "Celebrate Independence" 5K run beginning at 7:45 p.m. at Haddad Riverfront Park.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the Childhood Language Center of Charleston.
The Childhood Language Center, founded in 1990 by the Scottish Rite Masons, is the region's only free speech and language therapy clinic for children. The center treats children with speech and language delays, autism, Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy and hearing impairments.
Kelly Castleberry, 47 of South Charleston, who is a Mason and the chairmen of the CLC's development committee, said he is especially excited about the event because it allows him to combine three of his favorite things: charity work, family and running.
Castleberry, who has participated in numerous distance races and marathons, said that in addition to helping organize the event, he also participates with his two sons.
"I've been an avid runner for probably 20-plus years and so its sort of ironic for me to have the opportunity to use this event to promote a charity I feel so strongly about," Castleberry said.
His 9-year-old son, Hunter, has been running alongside him for the past three years. Last year, son Austin, 12, joined them.
"I think Austin saw how much fun Hunter had and wanted to join us," he said. "It's the one event every year that we look forward to because it's something we can do together as a family."
Castleberry said the event was a perfect way for a family to spend a summer evening.
"If you have any interest in fitness, or are just looking to bring your family out to something fun, you should come out," he said. "It's so easy and it's so fun."
Holly Martin, the center's executive director, said the race would not only increase awareness for its patients, but the funds raised also will allow the center operate more efficiently.