Local celebrities run for Natchez revitalization in Fat Mama’s Running Club 5K

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016


NATCHEZ — Eight local celebrities are ready to lace up their shoes and run for the revitalization of downtown Natchez.

With the Fat Mama’s Running Club in the lead, local elected officials and a few local personalities are seeking sponsorships in the first Fat Mama’s Tamales Celebrity 5K run.

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The event starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday with introductions and complimentary margaritas at Fat Mama’s on Canal Street. The race begins at 5:30 p.m.

Each celebrity along with any other runners who want to join in will start at the restaurant and will run to the Natchez City Cemetery and back.

But don’t be surprised if you see a few of the local superstars on bike or even on horseback along the course. Some are even rumored to have a little relay help along the way, FOR Natchez Chair Chesney Doyle said.

“It is up to each celebrity as to how they get to the cemetery and back,” Doyle said.

The eight local personalities who have signed up to run for the Top Tamale trophy are:

  • Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell,
  • Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten,
  • Local musician Brandon McCranie,
  • Natchez Alderwoman Sarah Smith,
  • Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus,
  • Natchez Tricentennial Director Jennifer Ogden Combs,
  • Director of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians Lance Harris,
  • Natchez Municipal Judge Lisa Jordan Dale.

Each celebrity is seeking monetary donations to sponsor their run.

“The goal is to raise $1,000 in sponsorships for each of the eight celebrities,” Doyle said.

Doyle said some of the celebrities who think they might not be able to run the entire race on foot plan to use a bike or maybe a horse to help their cause.

Combs has announced on social media that she will form a relay team of fellow Tricentennial Commission members and pass a tamale baton along the way.

Money raised for the event goes to FOR Natchez’s effort to reach the $100,000 necessary to hire urban designer Phil Walker to help develop a plan for the revitalization of downtown Natchez. The group plans to focus on the future growth of two areas of downtown — the bluff park area along Broadway Street and the Triangle area along Martin Luther King Jr. and St. Catherine streets.

Sponsorships can be donated via PayPal at for-natchez.org or by cash donation to FOR Natchez, 101 Commerce St., Natchez MS 39120.

“We will also have collection jars for each celebrity at the event Wednesday,” Doyle said. “And there will be prizes.”

The Top Tamale trophy will be given to the celebrity who finishes the race first and other prizes will be awarded to runners who join in the fun, Doyle said.

As of Tuesday evening two of the celebrities — Mayor Grennell and Sheriff Patten — are fully sponsored at $1,000 each and other celebrities are at varying levels from $150 to $750, Doyle said.

“It has been great to see how people are rallying for something that is fun and for a good cause,“ Doyle said. “We are hoping to  raise at least $5,000.”

Doyle said FOR Natchez is happy to have Fat Mama’s as a supporter of the group’s revitalization efforts.

“Fat Mama’s is one of the strongest brands downtown, their support not only helps raise money, but it engages the younger people in town and helps bring awareness to the overall project,” Doyle said.

For more information, call Doyle at 404-317-5524.