Race won thanks to you

Published 8:24 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

After months of work and planning, the first annual Race for Literacy brought in more than $15,000 for the United Way, thanks to members of the community just like you.

The half-marathon and 5k event was sponsored by the Suffolk News-Herald, but all proceeds went to benefit the United Way’s Raising a Reader program.

The program is a “take-home” bookbag program that gives books to families in order to encourage reading as a pastime as well as a way to fight the all-too-high illiteracy rates here in the city of Suffolk.

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According to research from the United Way, 32 percent of adults in Suffolk are functionally illiterate. The state average is almost half that amount, with a 19 percent rate of illiteracy among adults.

The money raised from yesterday’s race stays right here in Suffolk and can really make an impact in the fight against illiteracy.

Yesterday, more than 300 runners turned out for the races and helped make a difference in the community.

Without your support, your eagerness to participate and your encouragement of the project, the results would not have been nearly as positive. Thank you for being an active part of this community and helping to make a positive change in Suffolk.

This event was always planned to be a family-oriented, annual event. The goal was to provide a venue for the runners and their families. We hope everyone who braved the chilly weather yesterday had a great time and hope people will put it on their calendars for next year.

For comments and feedback on this year’s race, please contact Jesse Lindsey at 934-9611 or jesse.lindsey@suffolknewsherald.com.