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  • Megann Horstead

MorningStar Mission 5K runs for those in need

Runners took to the streets of Joliet Saturday as part the MorningStar Mission: Possible 5K Run/Walk.

The inaugural race aims to support the organization’s programming and services.

Executive Director for MorningStar Mission Marilyn Farmer said it’s nice to see community support shown for the organization.

“We’re here providing food, clothing, and shelter for everyone that comes through our doors and the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all,” she said, noting how important it is to reach people who need support.

For a number of years, MorningStar Mission held walks as a fundraising initiative.

Farmer said the idea behind the race evolved from input gathered from volunteers and discussions held at the committee level.

Marcus Bingham, of Clarion, Pennsylvania, said he was in town visiting his dad, Dennis, when they decided to do a run in the MorningStar Mission: Possible 5K Run/Walk.

“We’ve run a few other races together,” he said. “It seems like something we can do together.”

Marcus added that he’s not nearly the runner that his dad is, but he hopes to have a nice run.

“I haven’t talked him into running a marathon yet,” Dennis said laughing.

Dennis added that running in the MorningStar Mission 5K is part of his training regime.

“Having a 5K in there once in a while is good training,” he said, noting how he is on schedule to run in his third marathon.

Dennis said it’s nice seeing the way the race brings the community together.

“Particularly, with groups like this that do 5Ks you get a good mix of people coming and it’s a good time,” he said.

Marcus said it’s important to support organizations such as MorningStar Mission.

“Even in its very nature, the mission of what they’re doing is to provide help for those that need it,” he said. “But, even looking at who they are that’s only a means to an end, because the real end is teaching them about Christ.”

Darcy Welsh, of Channahon, said she heard about the event through a flyer and decided to participate.

“It looked like it was for a good cause,” she said. “I’ve always had a special place for homelessness because it can happen to anybody.”

Welsh noted that she’s been preparing to run 5Ks over the last year, and said her first race took place in October 2015.

“I’ve lost 60 pounds doing this,” she said. “I enjoy it.”

Welsh added that she feels compelled to run for a number of reasons.

“I love the competitiveness,” she said. “There is a physical exertion that gives you a high. You can’t describe it if you haven’t done it. It’s a sense of accomplishment.”

Farmer said MorningStar Mission set an attendance goal for the race, with the hope of bringing in 100-plus participants.

“We surpassed that,” she said.

All proceeds will benefit MorningStar Mission in providing services for the women and family center, the emergency shelter and the men’s recovery program.

Sponsors for the event included Wunderlich Doors, Packard Transport, D& I Electronics and Quick Plumbing.

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