Monster Dash benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters
One of the goals of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County is to help kids make healthy choices, so hosting an annual 5K fundraiser seemed to be a natural fit for the group.
Tom Kline, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said with the calendar guiding organizers to have the event in October, a Monster Dash theme was a no-brainer.
“We like the idea of a fundraiser geared towards making healthy choices through physical fitness,” he said. “We decided if we were going to do the event in October, that Halloween-related theme would be a good fit.”
The Monster Dash will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Martin “Marty” L. Snook Memorial Park. Big Brothers Big Sisters will partner with Racine MultiSports for the event, offering options of a 5K or 1-mile run/walk. 5K registration costs $30 and one-mile registration costs $20. Registration can be completed online at bbbswcmd.org, or through a link on Facebook at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, MD, Inc.
Participants will take to the park in their running shoes and a variety of outlandish garb, including but not limited to, monster wear.
“Last year, there were winners for funniest costumes. There was a group of three ladies who participated dressed as grapes. They actually inflated a lot of balloons and basically created costumes that looked like grapes, which was kind of funny,” Kline said.
Purple grapes were not the only variety of produce that cruised the terrain.
“The year before, there was a couple dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head,” Kline said. “That was pretty good too. It is fun. We have people that really like to dress up scary, but we also get a lot of, you know, superheroes and other types of things. There is a wide variety.”
The race is now in its fourth year as an event and its third year as Monster Dash, as the first year it was un-themed, Kline said.
With the fun approach but also official chip-timing, the race aims to attract “all different types of people,” Kline said.
“We get serious runners and competitors, as well as families that just have an interest in doing something fun and you know, something that is healthy,” he said.
Based on previous years, Kline said he anticipates that there will be roughly 100 participants.
Big Brothers Big Sisters will award trophies for the scariest, funniest and most original costumes, as well as medals for the best race times.
In past years, Monster Dash has raised between $2,000 and $4,000, Kline said, “and the money that we raise goes into supporting our programs and operating expenses for our programs.”
The group provides one-on-one mentoring for children with adult community members.
“We recruit volunteers from the community. We also have a sports buddies program and site-based mentoring programs,” Kline said.
Mentors assist children with goal setting based on the ideas of academic success, making healthy choices and avoiding risky behavior, and developing positive relationships. Kids who are enrolled in the program are ages 6 through 15, and once they are matched with a mentor, they can remain in the program until they graduate from high school.
Many, but not all of the children, live in single-parent households or are being raised by their grandparents, Kline said.