Atlanta 5K fundraiser invites runners to ‘race in place’
By: David Ibata
When the COVID-19 outbreak this spring forced a shutdown of nonessential gatherings in Georgia, Cindy Theiler and The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary in Atlanta had to make a quick decision: What to do about the Kettle Krush 5K, the annual fund-raising race coming up in May?
Their solution: Just race in place.
The Kettle Krush 5K, now in its sixth year, was started by The Salvation Army Metro Atlanta Area Command and taken over by its Women’s Auxiliary three years ago. In 2019, 350 people gathered at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park to run and raise $59,000 to help the Army “krush” poverty, homeless and sex trafficking, and to support veterans and youth enrichment.
This year, though, “with COVID-19, sheltering in place and social distancing, we weren’t able to have the race in our normal location,” said Theiler, Women’s Auxiliary president and race co-director. “We didn’t want to cancel and we didn’t want to postpone, and we knew The Salvation Army needed the money now.”
Hence, the “Kettle Krush 5K Race in Place.” Would-be runners, non-runners and other persons interested in supporting the event are asked to sign up online and pay the race registration fee of $30 in advance and $35 after May 6. Individual and corporate sponsorships also are welcome.
Additionally, the Race website says, “We would love to have you use #KettleKrushRaceinPlace by 5/15 to show us the creative ways you are racing in place before our FB Live broadcast.” Click here for more information.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, May 16, everyone can go to the Kettle Krush 5K Facebook page and “race in place.”
“A lot of other races were canceling and postponing,” Theiler said. “We just wanted to do something that still gets people involved and to really share The Salvation Army’s story.”
Major Bob Parker and Captain Kathy Parker, Atlanta area commanders, will talk about The Salvation Army’s mission and programs, particularly those dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Race co-directors Theiler and Dawn Menear will conduct drawings for individual and team prizes. Alicia Roberts, news anchor-reporter with local TV station CBS46, will emcee.
“We’ll have lots of fun and prizes,” Theiler said, “tickets for the Georgia Aquarium, gift certificates for local running company, and items donated by Home Depot, one of our race sponsors” – from hummingbird feeders to a vacuum cleaner and a refrigerator.
The response has been encouraging.
“People definitely think it’s creative,” Theiler said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of people tuning in to the event. Our auxiliary members are committed. We’re very dedicated and supportive of the Metro Atlanta Area Command. We’ll try to do as much as we can for them.”