By Valerie Baldowski
Speedway Children's Charities' annual Geranium Fun Run, to benefit children in need, is set for Saturday, and will begin and end in the parking lot of the JC Penney store in the South Point Shopping Center in McDonough.
Registration is $20 in advance, and $25 on the day of the event, said Shaun Birindelli, director of the Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. The Atlanta chapter is located at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga.
Registration will begin at 6:30 a.m., and the race will start at 7:30 a.m. However, Birindelli said that for "kids, people pushing strollers, or anyone who wants to participate," there will also be a one-mile version of the run that will start at 8:15 a.m., followed by a 50-yard "sunshine league dash" at 8:30 a.m.
The event is a fund-raiser, but the race is more oriented toward raising community awareness of the organization, rather than collecting a specified dollar figure, according to Birindelli. "Our true goal is to become part of the community, to reach out and become an active participant, and play an active role in the community," she said. "We feel like we're at the speedway, but a lot of people don't know what we do, or what we're all about."
"We couldn't be more pleased to have Speedway Children's Charities play host to the Geranium Fun Run," said Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark. "Being an active part of our local community has always been a priority at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is another fantastic opportunity to interact with fans and support a great cause by raising money for local children in need."
Speedway Children's Charities awards grants on an application basis to charities, organizations and agencies that benefit children, said Birindelli. "They have to be a 501C3," she added. "Each year, the names and faces [of the recipients of money from Speedway Children's Charities] change, based on who applies for a grant."
Some of the 2010 grant recipients include: A Friend's House, Arts Clayton, the Calvin Center, Camp Kudzu, Inc., Camp Twin Lakes, Inc., Cure Childhood Cancer, Inc., the Boy Scouts of America's Flint River Council, and the Fragile Kids Foundation.
The official sponsor of the this year's Geranium Fun Run is Atlanta Heart Associates, P.C., said Birindelli.