“Year two, we decided to move it to Wilson Middle School and make it official,” she said. “The second year was when we actually got our permit and started to advertise a little bit more, and we had 360 people come out, which blew us away, because we started with 30, and didn’t imagine that many people.”
The first year raised $100. The second year’s event raised “just about enough money to send all of our girls to summer camp, which was cool,” she said. Typically 15-20 teens mothers are part of the YoungLives mentorship program.
The mentors are in close contact with the teen moms regularly, and help them with issues of being young mothers.
“There are definitely a lot of challenges that they have to overcome, and having someone alongside them as a mentor is just a huge help to them,” said Powers, who is the race director. “Having someone to go to appointments with you, and help answer questions, and be there for you when it gets hard, that’s what makes the YoungLives ministry unique, and this race, I think, is a neat way to help people see a group of people that is under-served and sometimes overlooked in our community.”
In 2017, 537 people signed up for the race, which this year will be presented by the Hamilton Community Foundation.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 581 had signed up for this year’s race, which begins and ends at Wilson Middle School, with an after-party there, featuring refreshments from Almond Sisters Bakery and True West Coffee, plus massages and various games.
A free kids’ fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. The 5K starts at 9 a.m. The 5K entry fee is $25.
People can sign up at www.HamiltonThanksgiving5K.org, or in person the day of the race, with registration starting at 7:45 a.m. Local businesses have donated prizes for top finishers.