Not just a race

VDMC-sponsored 5K to benefit county schools

-Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship
Lori Foster, left, Jordan Behounek, Erick Schrier and Chris Wright mark the start and finish line for the upcoming Boone River Run. The kickoff for National Hospitals Week will raise funds for local schools

When they started planning a 5k run/walk for National Hospital Week, the committee at Van Diest Medical Center wanted to keep it all local.

The sponsors are local. The trophies and banners come from local vendors. And all the money raised will go back to the community–donated to area schools.

The event will start at 8 a.m. May 11 at Briggs Woods park, south of Webster City, and take place along the Boone River Recreational Trail.

Sponsored by the medical center’s Wellness Committee, one idea behind the run is to promote wellness, but it’s also about giving back.

“Before we even knew it would be a 5k, we knew we wanted to do something that would benefit the health and wellness of our community,” said Chris Wright, Service Excellence Manager. “And the fundraising component came very early on as well. We knew we wanted to do something that would benefit the local schools as well as the children of the community, and the families.

-Daily Freeman Journal photo by Joe Sutter Carla Johnson, left, Nancy Keane, Chris Wright and Erick Schrier look over the route for the Boone River 5k on a map of Briggs Woods park.

“All monies raised will go to the public and private schools in Hamilton County to go toward their physical education programs.”


• Boone River Run

• Van Diest Medical Center community 5k event run/walk for all ability levels

• May 11, 8 a.m.

• Registration begins at 7 a.m.

• Briggs Woods county park

• Register online by May 1 to get a free Boone River Run T-shirt. $30 registration fee; kids 15 and under run free. Getmeregistered.com/BooneRiverRun

• Proceeds will benefit physical education classes throughout Hamilton County

It’s not just a race; anyone can come out regardless of ability, said Carla Johnson, RN, Employee Health and Wellness.

“I want to stress the walking part too for a lot of folks,” Johnson said. “I have never been a runner, I never will.”

The paved trail will also be suitable for baby strollers, said Erick Schrier, Information Technology Director.

Schrier was one of the masterminds behind the event.

“I’m an avid runner,” Schrier said. “I run a lot of races, and being out at Briggs Woods, I really think that the route for this 5k will be one of the most scenic 5ks in the state of Iowa.

“It supports not only the youth in our community, but it’s also supporting our local parks as well.”

Cost for the event is $30. There will be race day registration available, but it’s best to sign up ahead of time online, Wright said. This way, participants will be sure to have t-shirts on the day of the race.

Kids 15 and under run for free. Sign-up is online at getmeregistered.com /BooneRiverRun.

Ten local businesses are now sponsoring the run, Schrier said.

“Let’s highlight what we purchased in town,” said Wright. “The trophies themselves were sourced locally, and t-shirts were done locally as well. We’ll have a sponsorship banner done in town, and the start/finish banner was done in town.”

Trophies will be given out for first, second and third place finishers, said Nancy Keane, Health Information Management Secretary.

Businesses have also donated items for the event, not just funds. The group is putting together ‘swag bags’ to give out to participants, Wright said.

“Fareway donated some water bottles, and HyVee donated bananas. A dentist in town donated toothbrushes to put in the bags,” Wright said. “It really is an event that is a snapshot of our whole community.”

The kids at the schools will be involved too.

Large poster boards were sent out to schools, and artwork from different classes will be posted at the mile markers, Keane said.

The event will be the kickoff for National Hospital Week, to celebrate what hospitals do for communities, Wright said.

The committee hopes to continue holding 5ks and raising funds in future years.

“This is our first one. We know we will grow and expand,” Johnson said. “We will be looking for input from people that attend, and see what we could do for next year, what do they want to see.”

“We hope to see this race grow each year and also support a new local cause,” said Jordan Behounek, communication specialist.

The wellness committee promotes activities to keep Van Diest employees well, Johnson said. There are exercise activities, nutritional challenges, and other competitions. Meditation times are offered two days a week to help workers recharge.


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