On Saturday, September 10th, hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers will descend upon Burnsville for the 5th Annual Heart of the City 10K, 5K, and 1K races. The event is presented every year to benefit the Twin Cities Boys & Girls Club of America’s Kids Feeding Kids (KFK) program. This initiative helps to get food to area Club youths five nights per week and on school early-release days – times when children are often most at-risk for food security issues. This year’s event is also being billed as a “Run to Remember” – participants are encouraged to dedicate their race to a loved one they have lost.
Kids Feeding Kids
Nearly ten years ago, Brad Rixmann of Burnsville-based Pawn America met with local leaders of the Boys & Girls Club in order to discuss the serious issue of childhood hunger. Knowing this was an issue in his own community through his work with the organization, Rixmann took action and the Kids Feeding Kids program was born.
According to the non-profit organization Feeding America, 15.3 million kids under the age of 18 live in food-insecure households, meaning they, “are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.”
“What we found was that about 5 o’clock, a lot of kids would leave the Clubs and go home and weren’t getting the nutrition they needed,” Rixmann said in a video about the event.
“We see immediate benefits because there are a lot of kids that end of staying at the Club until the Club closes around 8 o’clock or so at night,” Rixmann added. “They’re getting the help they need, whether it’s with school, or learning how to shoot baskets – and with that nutrition, it helps them today.”
Since its inception in 2006, the KFK initiative has served nearly 150,000 nutritious meals per year to Twin Cities and Rochester youth.
The Heart of the City – Three Races for a Great Cause
The Heart of the City event is one that many people from across the area look forward to every year. Both the 10K and 5K courses are certified and cover a gorgeous area of the City of Burnsville, just a short drive south of the Twin Cities. The children’s 1K race is a fun way to get youth involved, all while benefiting KFK programs in the region. Race fees are $45 per person for the 10K and $35 for the 5K; all participants receive a long-sleeved T-shirt, refreshments, and goodie bag. There are also several amazing prizes up for grabs for teams and individuals, as well as a raffle.
A Run to Remember
This year’s Heart of the City race is dubbed a “Run to Remember,” in honor of loved ones who have passed away. In 2013, Jordan Huver, the daughter of one of the event’s founders and an avid volunteer, tragically passed away in an auto accident. At the 2014 Heart of the City race, Jordan’s mother Trish gathered 130 friends and family members in order to “Run for Jordan” and honor her spirit and dedication to children’s causes. This year’s participants are invited to dedicate their runs to anyone they may have lost and want to remember.
For more information on the Heart of the City races and to register or volunteer, visit the event website at www.HOTC10K.com.
By Rachelle Gordon