Firecracker 5k raises $27k for Santa’s Workshop

Some good-natured hijinks take place during the start of the 5k.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer

GUIN — This year’s Firecracker 5k raised over $27,000 for Santa’s Workshop last Wednesday night, July 3.
The 5k serves as an annual fundraiser for Santa’s Workshop of Guin, which provides Christmas gifts to underprivileged children in the Guin area.
“It was little over $27,000, and we were able to cover our expenses with our race entries, so everything that we raised through our sponsorships totaled right at 27 or a little over that,” said 5k organizer Bobby Bellew.
Bellew said this year’s race had a good turnout.
“This was probably our second largest,” he said.” It was greater than 150 runners total between both races, so it was a really great turnout. There was a lot of excitement around it, and it seemed to be a very successful race from our perspective.”
Bellew said the idea for the 5k came about 11 years ago when Santa’s Workshop was in need of more funding.
“Myself and my wife and another couple were involved on the board of directors back in 2014,” he explained. “It was kind of on a whim, maybe in early June, late May, we started discussing ways to improve the fundraising for Santa’s Workshop.
“At the time, they had a golf tournament, but they would have to scramble at the end of the year to get what they needed, so we were just at a local restaurant discussing ideas, and this came up, because at the time all four of us were runners and thought this would be a good idea.
“Our first year, we raised a little over $8,000, which is tremendous for a first year. Many charity races don’t get that much, so we were very grateful. We were a little green at planning the races at that time, but as we got going, it got better and better.
“What really helped us turn the corner was the board of directors. It’s an amazing group of people who have a huge network of people, friends, family and corporate partners they call on every year. We don’t go back to them but once a year for sponsorship for the race, and that really helps our cause.
“Because of the work that they do, providing Christmas gifts for underprivileged children, it’s a cause that a lot of our partners and sponsors can get behind and offer a tremendous amount of financial support for us.”
Bellew expressed his thanks to the sponsors and runners that made this year’s race so successful…

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