When Fun 4 First Coast Kids’ Terri Mashour helped out with Jacksonville Public Library’s summer reading program last summer, she was confronted with a troubling reality.
“They said they didn’t have any money for their books,” she laments.
To help rectify this troubling situation, her organization put together the first annual Book It Jax 5K and Family Fun Run. The event will be held this coming Sunday, January 31, with proceeds going toward providing funding for the library’s children’s reading program.
The race will take place at The Avenues Mall, with the food court serving as its meeting place. It will be the first race held at the mall in 10 years.
The race has garnered an outpouring of support from the Jacksonville community. The Giants’ and Sharks’ cheerleading teams will be present on Sunday, as well as Southpaw, mascot of the Jacksonville Suns. A vast number of local companies will pitch in to sponsor the event, including the Jacksonville Public Library. Vendors such as Tropical Sno Jax will be on site to accommodate and entertain racers.
The 5K begins at 8:30 AM, and will be timed professionally with RFID chip technology. Snacks and refreshments will be available to runners as they cross the finish line, as well as to visitors cheering on the runners. Participants will receive a race medal and T-shirt, and prizes for winners include mall gift cards, coupons, and even a box from Jacksonville in a Box.
Of course, the event doesn’t lose focus on who it’s really all about: the kids. The 5K will accommodate parents who wish to push strollers along during the race, allowing their young ones to play a part in the festivities. The event also includes a Family Fun Run that begins at 9:45 AM.
The Fun Run, sponsored by Zaxby’s, consists of a one-mile loop. Prizes include passes to Rebounderz, Skate Station, and Pump It Up. In addition to sponsoring the run, Zaxby’s will also host the Book It Jax Spirit Night tomorrow from 3 to 8 PM at its Bartram Park location.
The Fun Run will provide kids with the chance to have fun, meet Southpaw, and get active for a cause that benefits them.
“My daughter’s been training for it,” says Mashour. “It’s a big accomplishment for [the kids], and great exercise.”
Registration for both events continues up until the start of each race. Signing up for the 5K costs $35 until the day of the event, when it raises to $40. Registration for the Fun Run costs $15.
To learn more about the races, or to register, visit the race page on Fun 4 First Coast Kids’ website. And stay tuned for our piece on Fun 4 First Coast Kids and the services they offer coming up in the next few days!