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McDonough Lions to host fund-raising race

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

The McDonough Lions Club is planning its first "Run for the Cubs Road Race" fund-raiser, to be held Saturday in downtown McDonough.

The fund-raiser is a road-race event for children and adults, with most of the proceeds going to support three local charity organizations, according to event chairwoman, Chasity Watson, a member of the McDonough Lions Club.

Watson said other proceeds collected from the event's "Kids Fun Run," a one-tenth-mile run for children, will benefit area schools.

The fund-raiser's marquee races include a 5-K and 10-K race from downtown McDonough through local neighborhoods. The 10-K race, she added, is a certified course which can be used to add points to one's placement in Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race.

"The goal of the races, in general, was to raise funds for local Henry County charities that benefit local youth and families," Watson said. "I would love to have in excess of 350 runners. My goal is to raise $5,000 to split among those charities."

The three charities include the Connecting Henry Community Christmas Program, the Henry County High Schools Foundation, and the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department's Youth Leadership League Program.

The Henry County High Schools Foundation will use the funds to create college scholarships for students within the county, according to Joey Balog, the foundation's president.

Balog said the foundation was able to create more than 80 different scholarships, this past year, worth a combined $50,750.

"But with the economy [in recession], it's been tough to raise money for scholarships," said Balog. "The McDonough Lions Club has been creating scholarships for us for years, and 100 percent of what they give us from this fund-raiser will go toward creating a scholarship."

Watson hopes the road race becomes an annual fund-raising event for the McDonough Lions Club. The club, chartered in 1954, also sponsors the Geranium Festival, held annually in downtown McDonough to benefit Lions Club programs and charities.

"We're hoping that we'll get a good turnout," she said. "And we're looking forward to a race on the Square."

Watson said the races will begin Saturday, in the parking lot of the Henry County Judicial Center, just off the McDonough Square along Lawrenceville Street. Runners will be able to registration on site, beginning at 7 a.m.

The Kids Fun Run race, which starts at 8 a.m., will take the event's youngest runners from the parking lot down about a block to the McDonough Square.

She said the 5-K race, which starts at 8:30 a.m., will take runners from Lawrenceville Street to McGarity Road into local neighborhoods and back down Ga. Highway 81 to John Frank Ward Boulevard, returning to the Judicial Center parking lot.

The 10-K race, she added, will start at 9 a.m. Racers will follow a similar path as 5-K runners, but will take a detour into neighborhoods in the Airline Road and Lake Dow area before returning to the Judicial Center parking lot along Ga. Highway 81 and John Frank Ward Boulevard.

According to Watson, the Kids Fun Run registration is $10. Registration for the 5-K is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the race. The 10-K run registration fee is $20 in advance and $25 on race day. To learn more or to register, visit the McDonough Lions Club web site.

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On the net:

McDonough Lions Club: www.mcdonoughlionsclub.org