5K raises funds for 4-H, Team Gleason

Published 1:10 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Running or walking along a course set up at the fairgrounds in Franklinton, a crowd of nearly 80 participants turned out Saturday morning for the Washington Parish 4-H Charity 5K.

The event was organized by the Washington Parish 4-H Junior Leaders. Coordinator Kreig Todd said the race went well, and there was great cooperation from the participants, volunteers and LSU AgCenter staff.

The weather was cool and sunny, and Todd said he was glad the rainfall he had feared did not arrive.

While the final tally of funds raised is not yet available, 20 percent of all proceeds will be donated to Team Gleason in an effort to help raise awareness of ALS, and the remainder will go to Washington Parish 4-H, Todd said.

Participants paid a registration fee of $15, with a $5 late fee added for those signing up after March 1.

Saturday’s event was the second time the race had been held. It got its start in 2011, when the Franklinton Junior High School 4-H held a 5K to raise awareness of breast cancer, Todd said. That event brought in $1,500, which was donated to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

“We had adapted it for the parish level as a fundraiser to help with any projects that we may want to do, and it has been successful,” he said.

The 5K was also deemed a success by Assistant Extension Agent Beth Blackwell and Associate Extension Agent Lacey Keating.

The male runners who completed the 3.1-mile race with the top times, listed from first to third, were Daniel Bischoff, Steve Mauer and Joshua Owens. The first-place female runner was Samantha Descant, second place was Melissa Mauer and third place was Shannon Fowler.

In the category of male walkers, Charles Weintritt placed first, Arland Papiska second and Anthony Papiska third. The first-place female walker was Brianna Estrada, second place went to Laiton Jenkins, and Jill Bulloch finished third.

Jack Brown’s Food Store and Winn-Dixie donated fruit and water for the racers, Team Gleason provided raffle items, and Decorating Showroom donated monetary prizes for the winners, Todd said.

Todd thanked those who took part in the pre-race ceremony, Franklinton High School’s MCJROTC color guard; Susan Brisco, who performed the national anthem; and the Rev. Andrew Voss, pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church, who gave the invocation.

“I want to thank the volunteers that helped with everything and helped make it a big success,” Todd added.