Junior Auxiliary Goes All Out for Children of Cabot!
Members of the Junior Auxiliary of Cabot showed up in full force as they hosted their Inaugural 5K Race as part of the Cabot Strawberry Festival. The event was held at the Cabot High School stadium, with the course starting and running thru surrounding streets and finishing up with a lap around the track. Proceeds from the race will support various JA activities designed to help children and students in Cabot thru-out the year.
From someone who has been to and covered several 5K races, you certainly couldn’t tell this was the first one this group has put together. It was well organized, professionally timed, and everybody seemed to have a really great time.
Not only did the JA members show up in numbers, but so did the runners and the community. According to race coordinator Lyndsey Rich, “We are extremely happy with the turnout since this was the first time for Strawberry Fest to incorporate a 5K into its weekend events. We had a total of 85 who signed up for the race, some pre-registered, with 73 of those participating on race day. We also received a lot of support from local organizations and businesses who stepped up with nearly $2,000 in sponsorships that will help support the service projects that Junior Auxiliary provides.”
One thing that really stood out about this race was it was comprised of all ages, runners and walkers, serious and casual alike. There were runners with carriages in tow and there was even a sheltie that made the start. This was truly a great event for the community.
After the race was complete, participants were treated to food and drinks, followed by an awards ceremony that was held on the outdoor stage at the Community Center across the street from where the Strawberry Festival was being held. A multitude of medals were presented to overall and age group winners.
With the first race being such a success, there are already plans developing for the future. “We want to continue the event next year and hope to continue to provide a timed event for the race and grow with more participants. A ‘1 mile fun run’ may also be added to help promote and provide another avenue of health and fitness for those who do not wish to participate in the 5K," added Ms. Rich.
The most impressive thing surrounding this event is what all the Junior Auxiliary is doing with the proceeds to help the children of Cabot. According to president Maggie Cope, “The main focus of JA is helping the children of the community to have a better life today that leads to a better future. We have several service projects throughout the year and help serve on a daily basis with needs at all the Cabot Public Schools. Some of our service projects include partner in Back to School Bash, Backpack Brigade, Christmas Blessing, Reading 1st, Smile, and Warm a Child's Heart.”
“We had record breaking results in our two finance projects of the year. The first annual Christmas Blessing Gala and Strawberry Festival were a huge success for our 2014-2015 year. In 2013, we provided 91 children with Christmas gifts through our Christmas Blessing service project and in 2014 we were able to provide 137 children with gifts because of our wonderful gala. Just coming off a record breaking event for Strawberry Festival will help us serve many more daily needs in the upcoming year” added Cope.
When looking over this extensive list of service projects, it is most certain they require a lot of time, hard work, coordination, and ample funding. So if you’re looking for a way to get involved and pay it forward, this would be a GREAT group of people to lend your support to. Their hearts and efforts are definitely with the children of Cabot.
Junior Auxiliary of Cabot is a non-profit organization that was started in 1989 and is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliary. For more information, please like Junior Auxiliary of Cabot on Facebook, or visit their website at www.jacabot.com .
Story and photos by Mark Jenkins, Arkansas Digital Media.com. All Rights Reserved 2015.