A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Runners and walkers brave the heat, participate in Salvation Army Donut Dash to benefit local children

By Benjamin Shipp
NKyTribune intern

While the summer heat may be keeping some Northern Kentuckians from braving the outdoors, The Salvation Army has found a pair of unlikely activities to ‘SAY YES’ to spending a day out in the sun: donuts and a mini-marathon.

Bill Whipp, left and Tom Kruer braved Saturday’s sweltering heat to participate in the Salvation Army Donut Dash.

On Saturday, entrants laced up their running shoes and set off to cross the finish line of The Salvation Army’s first annual Donut Dash 5k Run and Walk at Pioneer Park in Covington.

The Donut Dash marks the beginning of The Salvation Army’s Summer Giving Program, SAY YES! The goal of the SAY YES! program is to provide meals and recreation for less fortunate youths over summer break, while also offering those same children a chance to attend local day camps and The Salvation Army’s very own Camp Swoneky in Oregonia, Ohio.

The Salvation Army will contribute 90 cents of each dollar donated during the 5k to provide the necessary support to vital programs and services in both Campbell and Kenton counties.

In addition to the funds being donated, The Salvation Army, has teamed up with prominent Covington businessman and long-time donor to local educational programs, Oakley Farris. This collaboration between Farris and The Salvation army comes in the form of a financial match of donations at a 3:1 rate, allowing SAY YES! to satisfy and engage the needs of less fortunate children in the community.

From left to right, Salvation Army race organizers Captain Malcolm Daniels, Captain Victoria Daniels, Lieutenant Selah Bender and Lieutenant David Bender (provided photos).

Capt. Malcolm Daniels of the Salvation Army, one of the race organizers of the race, said the event provides the children of Kenton and Campbell counties a summer camp experience that they will remember for a lifetime.

“The support for our race is important because through summer camping, children from low-income families can make lifelong friendships and participate in activities that not only are fun, but shapes them into educated, positive future leaders of this generation,” Daniels said. “With over 140 participants who registered, to whom we offer our appreciation, we consider our event a success and look forward to hosting a Donut Dash 5K in 2019.  With over 140 participants who registered, to whom we offer our appreciation, we consider our event a success and look forward to hosting a Donut Dash 5K in 2019.”

As for the race itself, of the 144 registered entrants, there were 120 official finishing times posted.

Walkers get ready to participate in Saturday’s event.

The first to cross the finish line was Brad Dunlevy, 44, posting a time of 20:10. Jeffrey Jeong, 26, would take the runner-up with a 20:24 finishing time. In third, and the first female runner to finish, was Jessica Harris, 28, with a time of 22:10.

As the rest of the participants finished the race, they were met with applause and smiles from onlookers. The donuts were handed out soon after and the sweet taste of accomplishment had set in—not just for finishing the race—but for making an impact in the local community.

It may seem odd to devour a powdered donut after running a 5k to some, but it seemed a fitting reward for the runners who braved the elements on this day.

Benjamin Shipp is an intern at NKyTribune and a student at the University of Cincinnati. Contact the Northern Kentucky tribune at news@nkytrib.com

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