Come run for fun with Junior Auxiliary

Published 12:17 am Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good morning Miss-Lou! It’s that time again. The River City Run for the Kids is set for Feb. 26 and will start and end at Bowie’s Tavern.

In the past 59 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” at Natchez 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 and 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 that 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 week-long summer day camp for the students of Pleasant Acre. More recent projects include Partnership 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 Angel Tree, benefiting Catholic Charities, DHS and CASA, as well as providing college scholarships for area seniors.

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

The 10K run and the 5K walk will start at 8:30 a.m. while the fun run start at 9:30 a.m.

We would like to encourage you to pre-register for the race by picking up an entry form at the Natchez Visitors Center or you may register online at www.raceit.com, keyword Natchez. Packet pick up and race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at Bowie’s. The cost for the 10K Run and 5K Walk is $25 on race day or you can pre-register for $20.

The 1-Mile fun run is for children ages 12 and under and is $5. Parents are welcome to escort the children but must exit the course as the children cross the finish line. Local schools will be competing for $250 to be used for their physical education program.

For more information, call me at 601-493-4992 or e-mail me at nhall248@hotmail.com.

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

Natalie Navarro is the Junior Auxiliary race director.