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Urban League of Rochester’s Give Thanks for Education 5K Run
By Delani WeaverThe Urban League held its rst annual “Give Thanks for Educaon” 5K Run/Walk Saturday morning at Wegmans Lodge in Seneca Park. One hundred and sixty people parcipated in the event from ages one to over 60 years old.Jamie Beedham-Rada, markeng and fundraising director for the Urban League said, “This is the rst Urban League 5K run and everything went smoothly. It actually went so well, it’s something that we will connue to have every year going forward.”The race was sponsored by several businesses and organizaons including radio staon WDKX, Wegmans, Phu Concepts and Fleet Feet Sports. Beedham-Rada said the race promotes the Urban League, health, exercise, and community involvement. He also said the organizaon needs unrestricted funding for its educaon programs due to government funding being cut short.Runners showed up at the park to register at 8:30 a.m., were greeted by Urban League sta, and given a t-shirt and a number. Inside the lodge, runners and their families warmed up by the replace and spoke with several health vendors and sponsors aending the event. Children aending the event were able to explore the animals and acvies from Wegmans Zoo Mobile.“We could’ve had the event in September or October but didn’t want to compete with any other races going on around the city,” Beedham-Rada said. “But we want to get the Urban League out there in the community more. If you make a good name for yourself throughout the community, people will show up to your events.”The race began promptly at 10 a.m. The rst runner completed the 5K race in 18 minutes and 18 seconds. Medals were awarded to winners of each age group and the overall male and female winners. Bagels, fruits, donuts and water were provided to everyone aending.Ajamu Kitwana, one of the runners, said, “I wanted to support the Urban League. I recently moved here from Boston. I’m trying to stay in shape and this was a great way to start doing that here. It’s denitely something that I would like to connue parcipang in.”“My dad is running in the race, and I wanted to help support too,” 11-year-old Darius Johnson said. “I run track at Spry Middle School in Webster, and I’m really proud of my me in this race.”President and chief execuve ocer of the Urban League, William G. Clark, parcipated in the race as well.Clark, who has held his posion for almost 20 years said, “Today’s run was a run for our educaon program. We oer our aer school academy that we operate at the Urban League, we are operang inside the schools, and we also host the Black Scholars program. One of the things that we constantly need to do is to raise the funds to make sure that we are able to provide those services to the young people in Rochester. Today’s race was a fundraiser we had, for number one, to expose the Urban League to people in the community, and number two, to raise funds. This is our rst, and it will be an annual event, and something we will connue in the future.”
Photos by Delani Weaver