By Jason KURUSO
The Midnight Mission, a human rights organization that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is hosting a 5K/10K run/walk to benefit the homeless and near homeless. The run will begin in La Cañada Oak Grove Park on June 22 at 8 a.m. The event also features a kid’s 1K Fun Run beginning at 9:30 a.m. A barbecue lunch will be provided by Farmer John and catering will be done by Midnight Mission.
The Midnight Mission has taken part in numerous programs for the homeless during its 100-year history, including job training, education and addiction treatment. The Mission has also organized several annual events, though this is only the second annual 5K/10K run/walk.
According to Ryan L. Navales, public affairs coordinator for the Mission, the run is in line with the Mission’s goals.
“Promoting health and wellness is a big component of the Midnight Mission,” said Navales who is also a runner and in recovery through the Midnight Mission. He added that offering a path to self-sufficiency and independent living for men, women and children is another primary goal of the Midnight Mission.
Navales said the Midnight Mission has a runners club that includes Mission members and members of the community. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell is a founding member of the club and continues to run twice a week with the group. Anyone is welcome to join them, Navales said. Runners meet at the Mission on Mondays and Thursdays at 6 a.m. sharp.
In addition to a “nice flat course,” having Sunday’s race at Oak Grove Park also provides plenty of space for families to take part in the festivities.
“The park encourages a family-type atmosphere,” Navales said.
Those interested in participating may register up until the day of the race. Online registration is available every day, though registration on June 22 will only be available from 6 to 8 a.m. Registration fees start at $35 per adult and $20 per child.
The event is expected to draw more than 1,000 runners, each of whom will receive a finisher’s medal for participating. According to Nicole Peters, Special Events coordinator of the Midnight Mission, the top three men and women in each category will receive certificates for shoes, provided by Fleet Feet Sports Burbank.
“Runners of all levels are encouraged to take part,” said Navales.
Participation in the event may also be had through sponsorship. Interested parties may donate and be recognized during the race at mile markers, water stations or vendor booths. All sponsors will receive their logo on race T-shirts, vendor booth space, promotion on social media and first right of refusal for the 2015 5K/10K.
The deadline for sponsorship is June 20.
Proceeds benefit the Mission’s health & wellness program.
Oak Grove Park is located across the street from La Cañada High School at Grove Drive and Foothill Boulevard.