‘Run for the Kids’ set for Feb. 28

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 23, 2009

Good Morning Miss-Lou! We are taking the Junior Auxiliary River City Classic “Run for the Kids” back to the beautiful bluff of the Mississippi River. The race is Saturday, Feb. 28 and will begin and end on Broadway.

Over the past 57 years, Junior Auxiliary of Natchez a volunteer organization has hosted many events for children in our area. In the early days, JA members staffed and ran a playschool for the under-privileged children in our area, which included “Old Mexico” Under-the-Hill as well as other parts of town. This playschool, located in a small dependency at Auburn, was instrumental in teaching the children basic hygiene, self-esteem, in addition to meals, clothes and toys.

Later, the small Auburn dependency was expanded to what we now know as the “canteen.” It was here the JA hosted the “teen canteen” for many years providing a safe place for area teens to dance and have fun. The chapter supported a Crown Club at the local high school, instilling a spirit of volunteerism and pride in young ladies. Over the years, JA members have hosted dances and charity balls, helped with parades, provided services to local schools including “meology” — hearing and vision screenings and more. Some of our projects have lasted decades and are cherished by members, such as Camp Sunshine, a weeklong summer day camp for the children of Pleasant Acre. More recent projects include being a Partner-in-Education with West Primary, helping out the Sunshine Shelter, providing assistance to individual families in need, “Pack the Bus” which provides back to school supplies to area public schools, hosting an Angel Tree benefiting Catholic Charities, DHS, CASA as well as providing college scholarships for area seniors.

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The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries’ national slogan is Care Today, Character Tomorrow. All of the Natchez Chapter projects require not only the volunteer time and energy from our members, but also require strong community support. By participating in the Run for the Kids, you will help the Natchez JA Chapter continue its valuable outreach in our community.

The 10K Run and the 5K Walk will start at 8:30 a.m. while the Fun Run starts at approximately 9:30 a.m.

If you plan to register the day of the race, registration begins in front of Bowie’s at 7:30 a.m. The cost of both the 10K Run and the 5K Walk is $20. The 10K Run and 5K Walk use the standard 10-year age categories. Children 12 and under can run the One Mile Run for $5. Parents are welcome to escort the children but must exit as the children cross the finish line. Local schools will be competing for $250 to be used for their physical education program.

Children ages 12 and younger are encouraged to sign up for the one-mile fun run. The school with the most runners will win the money!

Registration forms are at Mainstream Fitness. For more information, call Karri Simpson, Race Director at 601-442-9386 or me at 601-304-1602.

Please join us and help support the women and children of our community.

Cara Moody is the president of Junior Auxiliary of Natchez.