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Annual walk/run against hunger gets a face-lift

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Pre-registration is in the works for the St. Albans Ministerial Association's Walk Against Hunger/5K Run to support Jericho House and St. Mark's Jubilee Center.

The walk is being "revamped" this year to attract more participants, said Kizmet Rogers, the event's chairwoman. In previous years, people gathered pledges within their respective churches and then showed up for the event.

This year organizers are making an effort to attract everyone from leisurely walkers to avid runners and encouraging pre-registration. Participants may choose to go one mile, two miles or complete the entire 5K.

A fall fair is being organized for the end of the event on the grounds of St. Mark's Episcopal, 405 B St. in St. Albans, where the entire community may enjoy free food, a gospel sing and inflatables for the kids.

The event is set for Oct. 19 at Loop Plaza in St. Albans with registration at 7 a.m. Runners begin the race at 8:15 a.m. and walkers at 8:30 a.m. Those who register before Sept. 15 will receive a discounted rate.

Registration to participate without being timed is $15 before Sept. 15 or $20 after that date. Timed participants pay $20 before Sept. 15 or $25 after that date. Those who pre-register are guaranteed to receive T-shirts. A limited number of shirts will be available the day of the race.  

The host committee this year is from St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Throughout the years, the event has helped provide food and lodging for the needy. Proceeds help Christ's Kitchen and St. Albans Community Food Pantry, both under the umbrella of St. Mark's Jubilee Center, and Jericho House, where those caught in a domestic violence situation may find a safe place to stay.

St. Albans Ministerial Association, or SAMA, includes eight churches working together to support the Community Food Pantry, Christ's Kitchen, and Jericho House. The food pantry operates inside St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Christ's Kitchen is also located at the church where meals are served to the needy. Lunch is served 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. A continental breakfast is also available when doors open at 8:30 a.m.

St. Mark's and SAMA also run an emergency assistance program for area residents who may need help with things like utility payments to prevent interruption of service. Call 304-932-9406 for food pantry or emergency assistance information.

Fundraisers like the upcoming Walk Against Hunger/5K Run are necessary to keep programs going, Rogers said.

"So many people are just one paycheck away from losing everything," she said.

Rebecca Rickaby, volunteer coordinator for St. Mark's Jubilee Center, said the upcoming event will help with programs and bring people together for a free day of fun at the fall fair where there will be a gospel sing, inflatables, and free hot dogs and sodas.

"Our goal is to invite the community in to have some fun," she said. "This is an opportunity to bring the children and not worry about the cost."

Donations needed for the fair include hot dog buns, wieners, sodas and paper goods. Bottled water is needed for the race. Businesses donating $100 in cash or products will have their logos printed on race T-shirts.

Email sahungerwalkwv@gmail.com or look up the event on TriStateRacer.com for more information on participating or becoming a sponsor.

For more information about donating or volunteering, contact Rogers at 304-543-0173 or Rickaby at 304-550-8592.

A volunteer committee meeting will be held 6 p.m. Aug. 29 in the lounge of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 405 B Street in St. Albans.  


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