By Ilsa Matthes
GLADSTONE - The 28th Annual Gladstone World Hunger Run/Walk and breakfast will be held on Saturday. The 5K (3.1 mile) run/walk and breakfast help raise money to fight hunger locally and worldwide.
The race starts at 10 a.m. at All Saints Church at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Eighth Street in Gladstone. Awards will be presented to the best overall male and female runners. There will also be awards for the first, second, and third place runners in each of eight age groups.
Every year, half of the money raised by the run/walk is given to local food banks and the other half to a worldwide hunger relief organization. This year the money will be given locally to St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army. Money will be given to Stop Hunger Now to fight hunger on the global level.
The run/walk is sponsored by area businesses and six local churches. Every year, one of the churches is responsible for determining which charities receive funds. The selected church also helps to co-direct the race. This year Memorial United Methodist Church was the lead church.
"We really lean heavily on the church community and youth groups," said Steve Soderman, race director.
Every year, the run, walk, and breakfast raise about $2,500.
"There's one person who routinely raises $200 or $300," said Soderman.
Runners and walkers can collect pledges or pay their entry fee personally.
"If you want to just do the race, you can pay your entry fee and just go," said Soderman. Race day registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 9:45. Pre-registrations are accepted until June 6. Checks can be made out to Gladstone World Hunger.
The entry fee for runners is $13 before June 6 and $15 on race day. The fee includes a t-shirt and breakfast. There is a $2 discount for members of the Upper Peninsula Road Runners Club. The entry fee for walkers is $6 for an individual or $8 for a family group.
The pancake breakfast will be served in the basement of the All Saints Church for participants and their families.
"People can eat breakfast while they tally up the scores," said Soderman.
Breakfast is not included in the entry fee for families. For families or individuals who are not participating in the run/walk, breakfast is $5 for ages 11 and up, $3 for children age 6-10, and children under 6 eat free.
"At the end of the day it's not only good for yourself, the main purpose is to help people less fortunate," said Soderman. "It's good to keep that in the back of your mind for an event like this; it can help you keep going."
For more information about the Gladstone Hunger Run/Walk or to pre-register, e-mail email@example.com or call Soderman at 428-3934. More information about Stop Hunger Now can be found at www.stophungernow.org.