Special Kids prepares for third annual race

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Artwork such as this bird painting by Resa Smith will be featured on awards for this year's Special Kids Race.

Special Kids is set to kick off their 3rd Annual Special Kids Race on March 22 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. at the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic building and Gateway Island.

If you’re new to the scene with Special Kids, then you should know the non-profit has been making strides over the past few years and has plans for a new facility as they were recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Christy Houston Foundation.

Special Kids is a Christian nonprofit that provides rehabilitation and nursing services to children with special needs. The Murfreesboro-based ministry started with one child in 1998 and has grown to serve over 2,600 children from 18 counties in Middle Tennessee.

By attending their annual Friendraiser Banquet along with other annual event such as the race and golf classic, one can see their work and mission first hand in a way that always pulls on the heartstrings.

“I believe that I have seen the hand of God work through people and work through this community with their compassionate hearts,” Special Kids Director of Development Stephanie Folkman said.

“It has to do with a shared faith in the value of these children’s lives and to see them learn, grow and thrive. People have come from every corner of Middle Tennessee in giving to Special Kids,” she added about the organization’s success in fundraising.

As for the race, it has grown along with the organization. In 2012, the race saw 2,500 participants and raised $113,000 dollars. In its second year, the event had 3,000 participants and totaled $175,000 dollars.

“It has become an integral piece with the sponsors along with the families, volunteers and participants. It’s one of the largest events we’ve ever had,” Folkman said about the importance of the race.

“It is great encouragement to see how much the community has responded.”

By registering for the race, participants will once again see how Special Kids works through one of their own, Resa Smith.

Smith started at Special Kids for speech and occupational therapy years ago and began to join the art therapy program. As her skills grew, it became more evident through her artwork. Smith enjoyed painting, with her primary focus on birds as subjects, which paid off as some of her work will be featured on this year’s awards.

Registration is still open for the race and it has sold out in both previous years. Online registration will be available through March 18 at 12 p.m. followed by paper registration at packet pick up on March 20 - 21 at New Vision Baptist Church. Event day registration will also be available on March 22 for an additional $5 late fee.

Fees are $45 for the 15K, $40 for the 5K, and $20 for the 1 Mile Fun Run. For more information, visit specialkidsrace.org.

Tagged under  Nonprofit, Special Kids, Special Kids Race

Members Opinions:
March 20, 2014 at 10:45pm
I am really excited about this event. As I read the article, I could not help but become overjoyed at the work being done in the community by Special Kids. I am very interested in non-profit organizations because they give back to the community in many different ways, but this particular organization focuses on helping children with special needs, which in my opinion, is a great thing to do because they are no different from any other child. I like the idea of having a race to raise money for the organization because it’s just a fun way to bring everyone together in an open environment filled with excitement. Another great thing to acknowledge in this article is the growth that has taken place over the years since 1998 with one child, to now serving over 2,600 children. It is heart warming to see organizations fufill a purpose that is greater than self and focus on children and help in there growth into teenagers and adults. I have always been interested in helping and giving back to the community so I am considering attending this event to see what it is about, as this would be my first time.

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