Jogger gather rain or shine each year to run 3.1 miles around the Greater Maitland 5K’s scenic route around Lake Catherine. But this is not any ordinary 5K. It’s one that helps the whole community.
“It’s such a beauty in the community effort,” Volunteer and marketing manager at New Hope for Kids Gloria Capozzi said. “It’s so exciting to see everyone pull this together, and watch it all come together.”
For the past eight years Orangewood Church has hosted the Greater Maitland 5K and donated nearly $74,000 to local charities. This year, the race is projected to raise $10,000 to benefit Orlando Children’s Church and New Hope for Kids, both Maitland organizations.
The Greater Maitland 5K also includes a kid’s 400 yd. Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. and a timed Kids Cross Country Mile Run at 8:35 a.m.
“With the Fun Run the kids get to be outside enjoying the healthy beautiful surroundings,” Capozzi said. “It also provides an opportunity for them to contribute something that will come back to the organization as a whole.”
Giving back to the children is what has brought these organizations together.
“We wanted to center the race around kids, since it’s about giving back and helping children,” Director of the RDV Sportplex Greater Maitland 5K and director of communications for Orangewood Church Hallie Burkett said. “We took it over because we saw the potential for it in the community, and wanted to continue to give back and shed light on these organizations.”
Shedding light on these organizations is important because they do so much for children that are in need.
“I would say for Orlando Children’s Church we have over 400 kids that we bus in from some of the toughest parts of Orlando,” OCC board member Rebecca Robinson said. “We love to let them come out and be kids.”
She said these donations allow them to not only have the money for buses, but supplies, and a safe environment for them to come and play together.
“Things that we take for granted here in Maitland and Winter Park is a special occasion every single week for these kids,” Robinson said.
Giving the kids in our community a special occasion is what this race is all about. It is more than just running to win; it’s running to give back to charities that give back every single day.
Orlando Christian Church’s Executive Director Peter O’Driscoll said organizations and events like these make more of an impact on the community then we even realize.
“One of the best ways to find out if a church or organization in a city was to up and disappear what would it do to the community,” he said. “And I can gladly tell you that there would be 500 broken hearted children that would be left on the corners in this great city, on Saturday mornings without bus to get them.”
The race is Saturday, Oct. 12, and is open to all ages. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race begins at 7:30 a.m.