Community Collaboration – the Key to a Thriving Hearty Hustle 5K Walk/Run

By Sue Moore

The Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation is the newest partner in the Hearty Hustle 5K Walk/Run, having joined in the management of the race in 2013. The Foundation will help raise funds and provide volunteer support.

This year’s sponsors include Frederick Construction, Inc.; Grossman & Moldovan, PLLC; Bub’s 73 Foundation; Ozland Enterprises, Inc.; Dornbos Dentistry; Kalamazoo County State Bank; Little Bulldogs Learning Center; Hungry Howie’s Pizza; Family Fare; Vicksburg Family Dentistry; Simmons Ford; and Family Doctors of Vicksburg, PC.

In addition to the Carl Bennett Photo Moment award sponsored by Kaye Bennett, an Inspiration award has been set up by Leon Hayward in memory of his wife, Tina. Another award given at the race is the volunteer award in honor of Gary Hollenbeck, who was instrumental in creating the Hearty Hustle.

“The entry fees for the race, largely pay for the timing company’s work, printing and publicity costs, along with refreshments for the participants,” said Amy Manchester, who keeps track of the finances for the race. “The sponsorships help us pay for the awards, prizes, and a few extras.”

Keeping the community feel of the race where families can run or walk together while getting exercise is one of the race’s goals, according to race director, Tonya Nash of the Community Education Department.

“We are grateful to have the people power of so many volunteers down through the years,” she said. “Now with help from the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation board members, partners, and our sponsors, we will continue to provide a great community event.”

This community event began as collaboration among Bronson Vicksburg Hospital (now known as Bronson Vicksburg Outpatient Center), the Village of Vicksburg, and the Vicksburg Community Education Department.

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