LAURINBURG — Hundreds of people are expected to flood downtown to take part of the 14th annual FUNd Run-4-Life.
The event is one of several planned as part in this weekend’s SpringFest 2018. Festival, which is part street festival, concert and arts event, begins on Friday.
Springfest is being organized by the Arts Council of Scotland County with the Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber of Commerce, Scotland Memorial Foundation and Scotland County Parks and Recreation.
The foundation’s FUNd Run, takes place Saturday morning. The charity run raises money for the Scotland Cancer Treatment Center and the Diabetes Education Fund.
Traditionally held on the campus of Scotland Memorial Hospital, organizers decided to bring the event downtown for the two-day festival.
“It’s for fun, it’s for fitness, its for creativity,” said Kirsten Dean, foundation executive director. We’re pulling all these things together to really showcase that there are many positive things happening in the community and people really putting forth an effort to say what a special place to be.”
Co-Chair Becca Hughes, a former foundation executive director, said the event has evolved significantly. It is in its 14th year.
“It’s changed a lot and it’s changing again that’s one of the cool things they have continued to keep it fresh and they added a half marathon a number of years ago and this year with all the other organizations decided to move downtown,” Hughes said. “I think it’s great that it’s going to be downtown so we can focus on our community as well as the health of the people in the community.”
Organizers expect more than 350 runners to take part in a 5K run/walk, and a 1-mile fun run/ribbon walk.
The top three finishers in each age group will receive a medal in the 5k race. The age groups are 15 to 19 years old, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49 years old, and so on. The races are open to all ages andpast events saw participants as old as 72 and as young as 4-years-old running.
The course starts on Roper Street, and includes Railroad South King, Prince and West Covington streets along with Park Circle, Park Lane and West Boulevard.
The 5k registration is $25 and $15 for students, and the one 1-mile ribbon walk costs $10 for all participants.
Runners can register online or the day of the event. Registration begins at 7 a.m. the day of the event.
Dean did want to encourage people to be aware of the runners on Saturday morning.
“This is an opportunity to recognize that between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. there will people running, walking, and waddling through our streets and neighborhoods and we just want the public to particularly come out and cheer them on but also drivers to be aware and cautious,” Dean said. “There will be a short section on West Boulevard and Atkinson Street that will be closed.”
The run has raised more than $329,000 and the goal is to raise another $40,000 this year.
Proceeds go toward the cancer center to help patients with things like transportation and wigs while going through treatment. The diabetes fund helps patients learn how to control and live with diabetes.
“It’s not just a fundraiser, but the money we raise is incredible and it does a lot to help with the two major diseases in this area but its also good for your health,” Hughes said. “You can be a part of it and help someone else’s health and you can be a part of it and help your own health. The partnership between the groups having all the activities is just a great opportunity to be an active part of the community.”
One of the ways that the event is raising money is through $100 spirit markers to support those who have battled cancer or diabetes or even just supporting someone who is running in the event.
“We’re super excited about the spirit markers, you can do in spirit of or in honor of,” Dean said. “We’re hoping to get 50 of them to line the course to bring color and inspiration.”
The FUNd-Run will be followed by the arts festival that will include a stage of music with performers from Scotland High School, the University of North Carolina Pembroke, and St. Andrews University. There will also be craft and food vendors, a chalk art contest, a community art project.
The Bold-Faced Liar’s Showdown will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Story Telling Arts Building. Tickets are $10. The event is a showdown between tall-tale storytellers who come from all over to take the title of “Biggest Liar.”
The festival kicks off Friday with the chamber’s Laurinburg After Five event featuring the band Hip Pocket at 6 p.m at the corner of Church and Main.
The band’s performance will be followed by a screening of the movie “A Dog’s Purpose,” organized by the recreation department.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171