This year’s Run for Ringgold participants will see recovery and rebuilding as they traverse neighborhoods hit hard by the April 27, 2011, tornado.
“The high school was still roped off,” Run co-founder Dr. Lisa Logan recalled. “This year our start and finish line will be in the high school parking lot next to the band room. Run participants can see how far we’ve come.”
The Run for Ringgold 2012 Celebration 5K and one-mile fun run will be held Saturday, April 28. Organizers say they plan to hold the event every year around the storm’s anniversary date of April 27.
The start and finish line is at Ringgold High School. Registration begins at 7 a.m., the run begins at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $25 before April 25 and $30 after that date and on the day of the run. Funds raised from the five-kilometer and one-mile fun run will support local, school-sponsored organizations at Ringgold High School, Ringgold Middle School, Ringgold Elementary School, Ringgold Primary School, and Tiger Creek Elementary School. The Ringgold High School band and cross country team, along with the Chattanooga Cross Country League, are hosting the charitable event.
Logan, Ringgold High School track and cross-country coach, and RHS Band Booster secretary Judy King established Run for Ringgold last year and are coordinating it again this year. Logan and King said this year’s benefit run was expanded to include more local schools.
“We want to be able to help the whole community,” Logan said. “That’s why we opened this up to the other schools.” Individual schools always have needs, she said.
The first Run for Ringgold raised $35,000 to replace athletic and band equipment at Ringgold’s high and middle schools, Logan and King said.
Logan explained that much of the track and cross-country teams’ equipment that was lost to the tornado was old. Therefore, insurance would not completely cover the cost for replacing storm-damaged athletic gear with new, updated equipment.
“We were able to get a good timing system,” Logan said. “The old one had 15 years-plus on it.”
The team also was able to purchase new poles for pole-vaulting, she added. Funds also will help provide track and cross-country athletes water and food during meets, something they often fund for themselves, according to Logan.
“This is a way for us to provide them continuing support at a higher level,” she said.
The school band used event proceeds to mend or replace instruments and music, King said. She explained how band boosters had manned the school’s concession stand during games to help raise money to pay off a new band uniform purchase. Unfortunately, the school’s concession stand – along with the football field – was heavily damaged from the storm, so the band was unable to raise money through concessions. King said Run for Ringgold proceeds also will help the band repay its uniform cost.
The Run for Ringgold route this year will start at the high school parking lot, head down Tennessee Street and then continue on to Depot, Cotter, Emberson, Guyler, Sparks and High streets before returning to Ringgold High School.
Logan and King said they are grateful to the run’s business sponsors, which are mostly area employers.
The three major sponsors for Run for Ringgold are Shaw Industries, Walter Jackson Chevrolet and Propex Inc., King said. Other sponsors she listed at press time included Costco, J&S Electric, Patty and Young Attorneys at Law, Coca-Cola, Ingles, Earth Fare and Chattanooga Bakery (maker of the original moon pie), Teter & Company body shop, and Webb Dentistry.
Businesses or organizations wishing to sponsor the run can make financial or in-kind donations. Email RunForRinggold@gmail.com and indicate “RFR Sponsor” in the subject line or call King at 706-218-0075.
Logan said the first Run for Ringgold was successful because so many people in the community came out to support the event. She’s hoping the community responds the same way this year.
Run for Ringgold 2012 Celebration 5K and one-mile fun run
When: Registration is at 7 a.m., race beings at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 28
Where: Ringgold High School parking lot is start/finish line
Registration fee: Entry fee is $25 before April 25, $30 after and on day of run
Event benefits: School-sponsored organizations at Ringgold High, Ringgold Middle, Ringgold Elementary, Ringgold Primary and Tiger Creek Elementary schools