United Way to host color run

Published 11:47 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

COLORFUL: Beechwood Elementary School students throw colored powder during a color run at Beechwood Elementary School in 2013. The United Way is hosting a color run Sept. 19.

COLORFUL: Beechwood Elementary School students throw colored powder during a color run at Beechwood Elementary School in 2013. The United Way is hosting a color run Sept. 19.

With a burst of color, the United Way of West Central Mississippi wants to share its story.

The United Way is hosting its first ever 5k True Color Run on Sept. 19 replacing the traditional Pacesetter Breakfast to kickoff its campaign year.

Executive Director Michele Connelly is excited to reach a new audience through the run.

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“We are going to share our story with people who have never heard our story before,” Connelly said. “It’s going to be a story that’s set in words, but more importantly it’s going to be a story set in color.”

Five color stations will line the course where a different color powdery mix is thrown at participants.

“I am a strong proponent in emphasizing the word fun in fundraisers,” Connelly said. “You want to make sure that when they walk away they have not only been inspired by your story, but they’ve enjoyed the process.”

Following the run, there will be an after party on the Farmers’ Market lot at Washington and Grove streets.

Each of United Way’s 22 agencies will have a booth set up around the perimeter of the lot that boasts their representative color like red for Red Cross, purple for Haven House and green for Girl Scouts. Seven primary colors will be used among the agencies.

Additional bags of color will be for sale at the after party, $10 for three bags and $4 for a single bag. The crowd will throw the bags of color up in the air at the end of a countdown during the party.

“Each agency will have a representation of color so when we have our countdown and we’re throwing the color up in the air at the after party we’ll really have a visual display of what our partner agencies do in our community, which is advance the common good in the areas of health, education and financial stability.” Connelly said.

“We want to share the story, but we also want to provide an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate and have a great time,” she said.

She said the buzz around the run has been large. Shannon Royal, community impact and events coordinator, hopes this becomes a yearly event.

“It’s very touching also to see the community come together,” Royal said. “We’ve had a lot of people call to volunteer for different things.”

The route starts at the Jackson Street Community Center on the corner of Jackson and Walnut streets and will go south to Drummond Street, onto Bowmar Avenue West to Washington Street and end at the corner of Washington and Jackson streets.

So far almost 250 people have signed up to participate.

The organization has a number of sponsors that have given them enough money to cover the cost of the run including the two “King of the Hill” sponsors Lady Luck Casino and Ameristar Casino who gave $5,000 or more. All registration revenue will be directly split among the United Way’s 22 agencies.

All schools in Warren County are challenged to create the largest team of runners to win $500 for their school’s library. Anyone can join a school’s team by specifying which school they support on their registration form. The winner will be announced the day of the race.

To sign up for the run, visit the United Way at 920 South St. or online at unitedwayvicksburg.webconnex.com/truecolor5k.

Those who don’t run but want to participate can volunteer at unitedwayvicksburg.org/volunteer.