15th Home Run for Homeless continues Thanksgiving
WEST AKRON — Gennesaret Inc.’s 15th annual Home Run for the Homeless will take place Nov. 23 starting at 9 a.m. But before that, a 1-mile fun run/walk will step off at 8:30 a.m. with Butch Reynolds, Olympic track gold medalist and former world-record holder, leading the walkers and greeting race runners.
The 4-mile run will begin at Gennesaret’s Family Nutritional Center at 517 W. Exchange St., near Maple and Exchange streets, and wind through the historic Glendale Cemetery. Akron police officers will regulate traffic and support the race.
Open registration will begin at 7: 15 a.m. The first 300 registered runners will receive Thanksgiving running socks; the next 600 registered runners will receive running gloves. Runners are asked to bring like-new toys and used running shoes in good condition for area families in need.
Free fruit, baked goods and refreshments will be served during the race. After the race, hundreds of dollars in free door prizes will be given away to runners via a random drawing.
The top-three male and female finishers in 12 age divisions will win awards. The first-, second- and third-place finishers also will receive a turkey, pumpkin pie and jam, respectively. In addition, first-place male and female finishers in the master (40-49) and grandmaster (50+) age divisions will win awards.
Home Run race fees are $8 if postmarked on or before Nov. 16 and $12 after, with special family rates for early registrants. The fee for the 1-mile fun run/walk is $1. Race flyers are available at www.gennesaret.cc. For more information, call Mary or Bob Dirgo at (330) 560-6875.
In 2005, approximately 1,350 runners and walkers kicked off the holiday season with this Thanksgiving tradition.
Major sponsors of the race are KeyBank; Pepsi; the Vertical Runner running-shoe store in Hudson; West Point Market; Mustard Seed Market; Giant Eagle; Tops; Dick’s Clothing & Sporting Goods; Crest Bakery; and Osman’s Pies.
Gennesaret is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization based in Summit County that provides transitional housing to mothers, fathers and their children and serves hot meals to an average of 600 people weekly. Gennesaret is funded entirely from grants and individual contributions and accepts no government financial support. More than 350 volunteers support Gennesaret, from preparing and serving meals to developing the Job Skills Training Center.
For more information on Gennesaret or the Home Run for the Homeless event, visit www.gennesaret.cc.