Fireman's trust hosts first 5K

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- The Covington Fireman's Memorial Trust is offering an opportunity to get a good workout and help a good cause at the same time.

The organization is hosting its first Fire House 5K, a 5K run and 1-mile fun run on May 22. Proceeds will benefit the trust, established in 1978 in honor of three firemen -- Wallace Bates, Chuck Carter and Andy Aaron -- who were killed in an auto accident.

The trust handed out its first scholarship in the amount of $300 in 1979 and has grown since that time. Now, between three and six scholarships are handed out annually to local students, ranging from $500 to $1,000 each. Since 1979, the trust has given away $32,000 in scholarship money, according to Capt. Tony Smith, assistant fire marshal with the Covington Fire Department.

Past fundraisers have included car washes and barbecues, but Smith said he was looking for a new idea to help the bolster the fund, which is how the Fire House 5K came to be.

The event will take place beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the 1-mile fun run, with the 5K to start at 9 a.m. Runners will start and finish at Conyers Street Gym at 1146 Conyers St. The route through downtown Covington will be the same course as the Fuzz Run sponsored by the Covington Police Department each fall.

Smith said he's hoping the race will generate $3,000 to $5,000 after expenses are paid, and some of that money will be used for this year's scholarship awards, with the rest to be banked for future use.

He said walkers are also welcome at the event and encouraged everyone who can to come out and show support.

"It's an opportunity to come together as a community and participate in a very healthy event, but it also benefits the local children in our schools. It stays locally right here in town ... it's benefiting our kids," Smith said.

All Fun Run participants will receive ribbons and awards will go to the first-, second- and third-place male and female runners under the age of 12. For the 5K, awards will be given for the overall male and female; masters male and female; and top three male and female winners in age groups ranging from 10 and under to 75 and over. Special awards will go to the top public safety personnel male and female finishers.

Pre-registered participants will receive T-shirts, while supplies last.

Preregistration is $17 prior to May 15, and $20 after that deadline and on race day. A family pack of four for $50 is also available during preregistration only. Entry forms are available at www.runningintheusa.com/crs or by visiting the Covington Fire Department.

Checks should be made payable to Covington Fireman's Memorial Trust and mailed to 2101 Pace St., Covington, GA, 30014.

For more information, call 770-385-2100.