Nonprofit to host glow-in-the-dark 5K fundraiser

By Syd Hayman Published August 18, 2016 at 12:00 a.m.
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Bentley and Madison Hardin hold hands during the Future Boys & Girls Club’s 2015 Glow Cabot 5K. The glow-in-the-dark run/walk, which will return Aug. 26, raises money for the nonprofit to apply for its charter and eventually open a location.

— To beat the heat while encouraging fitness, the Future Boys & Girls Club of Lonoke County will present a nighttime glow-in-the-dark run fundraiser.

The second annual Glow Cabot 5K will take place from 6-9:30 p.m. Aug. 26. The run/walk event will begin at the future site of the club, Renew Community Church, 1122 S. Second St. Packet pickup will begin at 6 p.m., and the run will start at 8 p.m.

The Future Boys & Girls Club of Lonoke County aims to one day open a site for area children to be mentored while participating in after-school education and activities.

“Really, what we want to do is provide people opportunities to see the space where it’s located and have access to board members so [visitors] can get their questions answered,” Natalie Cope, board secretary, said of the event. “It will also be an event where we can generate some more revenue so people may see who the sponsors are.”

Event sponsors are Century21, Centennial Bank, Walmart and First Arkansas Bank and Trust.

The glow-in-the-dark event will feature lots of neon, Cope said.

“Our T-shirts will be a florescent color,” she said. “We’ll have black lights that’ll really make the colors pop.”

Cope said participants can get creative with their glow-run attire.

“I have a friend who makes tutus — a lot of us girls will wear that,” she said. “We’ve had people come in homemade T-shirts. They’ll use florescent fabric paint. You can do whatever you want to glow in the dark.”

The nonprofit aims to match a $100,000 donation by the end of the year and needs $250,000 to apply for the club’s charter.

“We’re just in fundraising stages, and we’re working very hard to reach that matching gift,” she said. “We’re halfway there to matching it. We definitely want to get as close to it as possible. By December, we’ll have a better understanding of how far away we are.”

Cope said she doesn’t identify as a runner but that 5Ks are an opportunity to bring many people together.

“We’re just in a time when people really value fitness,” she said. “Whenever you participate in a 5K, it’s kind of like a family, an infinity group. Some people have a self-timing system. And then you have others who think that it is a fun thing to do. Maybe they’ll just get out there with their family and pull their wagon and walk their dog and just have it be a social event.”

Cope said she plans on walking the 5K and said the event isn’t just for runners looking to race.

“When people think 5K, they think, ‘I’m not a runner, so I’m not going to do that,’” she said. “You definitely don’t have to be a runner to participate in this.”

Last year, the club had 156 participants in the run. This year, the organization would like to see that number doubled.

“We thought that was pretty good,” Cope said. “We thought, ‘Well, that’s not a bad start, considering our little town.’”

The organization’s first glow-in-the-dark run raised about $2,500.

“We’ll have the event rain or shine, but we’re looking to at least double what we had last year,” Cope said.

Activities such as a cake walk and face painting will be available at the run, and the Jordan Mack Band, a local Christian act, will perform.

“While we’re waiting for the sun to go down, it’ll be an event in itself,” Cope said.

T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cope said she most looks forward to developing brand association among Cabot area youths.

“I really just have a heart for the kids,” Cope said. “Personally, I’m most excited about bringing kids from the community to enjoy themselves. When kids see our logo, they can associate it with, ‘Boy, this will be a fun place.’”

Registration for the Glow Cabot 5K is $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. Registration will also be open from 6-7 p.m. the day of the event.

To register or learn more about the Glow Cabot 5K, visit www.facebook.com/bgclonokecounty.

Staff writer Syd Hayman can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or shayman@arkansasonline.com.

Staff Writer Syd Hayman can be reached at 501-244-4342 or shayman@arkansasonline.com.