WRMC’s ‘Highway to Health’ 5K run/walk raises over $10K for local school food pantries

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White River Medical Center (WRMC) recently wrapped up its annual 5K run/walk, Highway to Health, previously called Run the Wave.

The event brought a record 185 runners and raised over $10,000 to support local schools’ food pantries, according to a release from WRMC.

“The response to the WRMC Highway to Health 5K was remarkable. In addition to the 185 runners and walkers, over 70 additional people made donations to the event as virtual participants,” said Jody Smotherman, WRMC administrator and race director.

“It was exciting to see more than 30 participants complete their first 5K as a runner or walker. The response exceeded our expectations and as a result, we were able to support a worthwhile cause while promoting health and wellness in our community. We look forward to more opportunities to serve our community through the WRMC 5K and other events.”

One in four children face food insecurity in Arkansas, and in rural communities, that rate can be as high as one in three, according to Arkansasfoodbank.org. Children facing food insecurity do not know when or where their next meal will come from. In Independence County, 71 percent of school-age children qualify for free or reduce fee lunches. Many schools offer a food pantry to ensure children have food during weekends and holidays but struggle to keep their pantries stocked. This event provided additional food to the Batesville, Cave City, Cedar Ridge, Midland, and Southside School Districts.

Along with WRMC, the primary sponsor of the event was Bank of Cave City. Other sponsors included Ameriprise Financial, Anytime Fitness in Batesville, Citizens Bank, Grassroots Equipment, Harps, Survival Flight, The John Herman Hickman Foundation, University of Arkansas Community College of Batesville, WRMC, and Yelcot.

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WRMC 5K Highway to Health participants gather in the Josephine Raye Rogers Conference Center to hear the results and door prizes. / Image via WRMC

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