Ketchings heads race that raises $1,400 for JA

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 7, 2000

Leading an army of sponsors and volunteers in organizing the first-ever Junior Auxiliary’s Spring Into Action race wasn’t easy for event Chairperson Kay Ketchings — but it paid off, netting $1,400 to fund the projects of JA’s Natchez chapter.

From October until last Saturday’s race, she worked with other JA members to get sponsors; sign up volunteers, including teenagers who helped direct traffic; and set a date with the Mississippi Track Club.

Other tasks included sending out entry forms in the club’s newsletter, setting a race route and coordinating police protection with Natchez police, and registering runners — half of which signed up the day of the race.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Without our sponsors and volunteers, we couldn’t have done it,&uot; Ketchings said.

Ketchings had already had some race experience, having been to many races and coordinating a run for her employer, Natchez Community Hospital.

For Ketchings, the rewards were worth the trouble.

One such reward is seeing the money go to fund a variety of chapter projects, from the Angel Tree program and Camp Sunshine to buying school supplies and other necessities for children in need.

&uot;Basically, anything that helps children is what we do,&uot;&160;she said, adding that a shrimp boil and a newly published cookbook are among the group’s other major fund raisers.

Another reward was seeing the race proceed with few hitches and many participants. About 130 racers signed up for the event’s run-walk event, one-mile race and children’s run.

For Ketchings, one of the nicest parts of the events was getting to see 47 children have fun participating in an event that gave them a workout and raised money for children at the same time.

&uot;I talked with so many parents who were pleased that their child finished the race,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;It made (the children) feel important.&uot;