Jawad Dughmush leads the runners at the start of the fourth annual Fun Run for Charities 10k race Saturday on North Church Street at the Imperial Center. Dughmush finished second overall in the 10k race.
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Telegram photo / Alan Campbell

Jawad Dughmush leads the runners at the start of the fourth annual Fun Run for Charities 10k race Saturday on North Church Street at the Imperial Center. Dughmush finished second overall in the 10k race.

Hundreds participate in Fun Run

By Brie Handgraaf

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About 700 children and adults raced to raise money for their favorite nonprofit groups Saturday during the fourth annual Fun Run for Charities.

“We have beautiful weather, a great crowd and wonderful support from the community,” said Kelly Joyner Lee, the regional associate for the N.C. Community Foundation.

She said the event has gotten 
bigger every year with more runners in the 5k and 10k races. Also more nonprofit groups are encouraging their supporters to raise funds that are matched in part by Reach Out Rocky Mount, which sponsors the Fun Run.

Karen Boyette with the Backpack Buddies program at First United Methodist Church said fundraising efforts through the Fun Run in 2011 netted $7,100. That is a large chunk of the $11,000 the program needs a year to provide the food-filled backpacks each weekend to 50 needy elementary school students.

“Last year was our first time participating in the Fun Run, but we raised quite a bit, so we were eager to do it again this year,” Boyette said. “The Fun Run really is a tremendous help for the church’s bottom line budget. As a church, there are other things we need to help with, so I’d really love for this program to become self-sufficient at some point.”

Kevin Newsome started running with his 8-year-old daughter Sydney when her school, Englewood Elementary School, kicked off the second year of the Englewood Endurance Club. The program gets students in shape to run the 5k at the Fun Run while raising much needed funds for the school.

Newsome said the club provided the motivation to get in shape while spending quality time with his daughter.

“This was our first time running a race and our first time coming out to the Fun Run,” he said. “It has been a lot of fun, though. We’ve seen a lot of friends and made some new ones running. We are definitely coming back next year.”

For two nurses at Nash General Hospital, Sherri Smith and Cheryl Jordan, the event provided a starting point for further races while raising money for the hospital’s new pediatric Emergency Department. Both said they plan to continue running and setting goals along the way.

“This was awesome,” Smith said. “It was a challenge to me, but I enjoyed it. It was great.”

Donations to the Fun Run for Charities are accepted until May 30.

For more information, go to www.FunRunRM.org.

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To view race results please go to the following web address and scroll down to May 12 for the Fun Run for Charities. http://www.runtheeast.com/results.php Thank you to the Rocky Mount Telegram for featuring a story on one of the many great things going on in the Twin Counties.

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