The Third Annual Forrest Ray 5K Run/Walk was held this past Saturday, October 11th and was a great success. We had 148 runners and walkers brave the wet, breezy conditions to help support and raise money for our Library. The overall winner, for the third year in a row, was Trey Parker of Wilson Hall. His fellow Barron, Joshua Jennings finished second, and Reid Schwartz was third. Wilson Hall took the school participation plaque, and the Military Squadron/Unit participation plaque went to the 609 ACOMS/AFCENT A60. A complete list of the winners in each category as well as the times for all those who tied a chip to their shoelace can be found at strictlyrunning.com or by clicking on the link on the Library website homepage. Check out our FlickR account as well – also accessible from the Library homepage. There are some great pictures from this year’s race. I had the opportunity to participate in this years 5K and finished 63rd. I’ve got some work to do to prepare for next year. Go ahead and mark it on your calendars – Saturday, October 10th, 2009 @ 9:00 am at the Downtown Library.
Despite the weather, everyone seemed to have a good time. We at the Library are particularly appreciative of the support by all those who participate and volunteer. Very special thanks go out to our presenting sponsor, SAFE Credit Union. We’d also like to thank our other sponsors, Adams Outdoor, BiLo Charities, Body By Sue, Central Carolina Technical College, Chick-Fil-A, 1895 Inn Savannah, Friends of the Sumter County Library, Kiwanis Club of Sumter, Logistics Officer Association, Piggly Wiggly, Sumter County Active Lifestyles, Sumter Packaging, Thompson Industrial, and the YMCA.
Special thanks go out to all the volunteers who help this event come together each year. Thanks to the members of the race committee who meet throughout the spring, summer and early fall to make sure every T is crossed and every I dotted. Thanks to Girl Scout Troops 2586 and 2250 for being at the water stations and cheering on the runners – their enthusiasm and high sprits contribute to the race every year. The USC Fire Ants softball teams have helped out the last couple of years – taking on the very important task of helping direct runners and walkers on the race route. Sumter City and County Law Enforcement helped direct traffic – many, many thanks for your support. Palmer Memorial Chapel provided covering – especially appreciated on a rainy day. The Friends of the Library also helped out in many ways – filling race bags (with help from the Girl Scouts!), taking care of intersections, and helping out in many different ways before and during the race. The staff of the Sumter County Library deserves a special hand for going above and beyond their regular responsibilities to collect coupons, distribute posters, put together displays, serve on the race committee, and come in on their day off to volunteer for race day.
Many different people and organizations helped out by providing materials for the “goody” bags we have for participants in the 5K. We received items from our local Armed Services Recruiters, Sumter County Active Lifestyles, and Runner’s World. Coupons were donated by Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins, Zaxby’s, Chick-Fil-A, Tranquil Journey Health & Wellness Spa, Best of Season’s, Brick Street Coffee Break, Mr. P’s Car Wash, Foo Garden, Twin Dragon, Angels Mexican Restaurant, Special Teas on Main, Hibachi Grill, Hardees, Osaka, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Busters, Palmetto Subs and Waffle House. We were able to raffle items donated by Baker’s Sweets, Mary Ann’s Deli, Ryan’s, and the Tuomey Foundation.
Special mention needs to be made of the Sumter Riding Club – the Sumter Easy Riders and Sumter Chain Gang for putting on a 30 mile charity ride in conjunction with the 5K. Thanks for helping support the Library!
Money raised from this year’s Forrest Ray 5K will continue the vision Forrest Ray had for our Library to provide the best possible services and programs we can in the best possible facilities. This year we will use the funds raised to purchase materials for our Children’s Department at all Library locations. The Forrest Ray 5K is a great community event, a great event for the Library, and this year it is helping to lend a hand to the youngest members of our community.
Again – thanks for helping your Library.
Robert Harden - Library Director