Operating on Santa’s principles: Annual Reindeer Run 5k supports Paws Rescue

Published 4:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2023

Just like the unwanted toys Santa Claus rescued from the Island of Misfit Toys, Paws Rescue, a no-kill animal rescue is providing needed assistance to neglected and unwanted animals in the Vicksburg community.

And to help with their mission, nearly $100,000 has been donated to Paws Rescue in the past four years, all thanks to the Reindeer Run 5K, a fundraiser geared toward raising money to assist the non-profit organization.

The Reindeer Run is set to begin at 8 a.m. on Dec. 2, and this year in addition to the 5k run, 5k walk and a Reindeer Dash children’s 1-mile fun run, a special event will take place. To kick off the fundraising event, a Reindeer Roundup, sponsored by Anchuca Historic Mansion and Inn, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 19.

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Sam Andrews, the owner of Anchuca, along with his wife, Anna Kate Doiron Andrews, said they had been wanting to “play some small part in this important fundraiser for Paws.”

“We think the world of Leigh Conerly (President of the Paws Rescue Board of Directors) and the selfless work she does, and we wanted to do whatever we could to get behind her efforts and support her,” Sam said. “We have adopted from Paws before and it’s especially relative to us to give back to what she is doing.”

The Reindeer Roundup, which will be held at the historic mansion at 1010 First East St., will include live music by Ralph Miller, complimentary Christmas appetizers and a special appearance from Santa. A cash bar will also be available. Tickets for the event are $25 and $15 for children.

Andrews said on-site registration for the 5k run, 5k walk and 1-mile fun run will be available as well as the option to buy raffle tickets.

Reindeer Run event organizer Debbie Haworth Peacock said $38,000 was raised last year for Paws Rescue, with $8,000 of that coming from two raffles. There will be raffles again this year, she said, one of which is for three top-shelf bottles of bourbon.

“We also have four items on what we are calling the Reindeer Run Raffle,” Peacock said.

The top prize or first drawing for the Reindeer Run Raffle is a dinner party for six provided by Vicksburg caterer William Furlong.

The second, third and fourth drawing will be a 36-inch black stone griddle, a pizza oven and a painting by Abby Perry, respectively,” Peacock said.

The cost of each raffle ticket is $20, and the live-stream drawing will be held the night before the Reindeer Run on Dec. 1 during the race packet pick-up.

“The Mulberry Vicksburg is hosting our packet pick-up from 5 to 7 p.m.,” Peacock said. And at the “packet pick-up, party” she said there will be live music, Reindeer Run cocktail specials and hot chocolate.

The Reindeer Run began when volunteers from the Vicksburg Running Club wanted to do a run as a fundraiser, Peacock said in an earlier interview with The Vicksburg Post. Therefore, the group, many of whom had rescue dogs decided to donate the proceeds from the fundraiser to Paws Rescue.

Funding for Paws Rescue is based on donations, Conerly said.

“This run keeps Paws Rescue alive. It’s just an amazing fundraiser and it’s a great group of people, great committee that makes it work and we appreciated it so very much,” Conerly said. “And now with the added Anchuca party, it’s just exciting.”

As in years past, the Reindeer run has a fun holiday and animal theme. Runners and walkers are invited to participate with their pets, and the post-race events include a pet parade and reindeer games for kids. The race will begin at the Catfish Row Art Park on Levee Street. The registration fee is $35 before Nov. 18, $40 on race day for the 5K and $15 for the 1-mile fun run. Online registration is available at raceroster.com/events/2023/80439/reindeer-run-5k.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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