CONWAY — Memorial Hospital invites local school-aged children to take part in the fifth annual Fun Run at Story Land on Monday, Sept. 4, with check in beginning at 8 a.m.
This Fun Run is the kick off to a school-year long initiative to bring their “Let’s Go” health and wellness education and activities to students throughout Mount Washington Valley, funded by the proceeds of the 2017 Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament. While the race is open to all, local children will receive free registration courtesy of the North Conway-based hospital.
The event is geared to children ages 12 and younger. Those who are residents of the local New Hampshire School Administrative Units 9, 13, 20, 3 and Maine School Administrative District 72 school districts will receive free admission courtesy of Memorial Hospital. Proof of residency is required.
Children from beyond the area are welcome to participate for $10. Runners will receive free admission to the popular theme park, as well as a race T-shirt, medals and other special gifts for taking part in a running race throughout Story Land.
“It’s hard to believe that we have been sponsoring this event for five years running,” stated Memorial’s Vice President of Community Relations Kathy Bennett, “We continue to be grateful to GM Eric Dziedzic for generously donating Story Land as the host site for this event. They are big supporters of this initiative and Believe in Books Literacy Foundation. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Net proceeds from the event will support the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation. The mission of the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation is to advance healthy development of young minds through literacy programs that encourage early reading, imagination, and physical activity. The Literacy Foundation is a Charitable 501(c)(3) non-Profit, guided by the needs and involvement of the communities of which it serves.
The course takes runners throughout the popular Glen Story Land theme park, with different lengths set for each grade/age group, ranging from a short loop for ages 4 and under, up to 1k for ages 9-12.
Check-in takes place in the rear of the north parking lot at Story Land; that location is also the start and finish for the race. Every child who finishes the course will receive a commemorative medal marking the event. Children who participate in the race will receive a special edition T-shirt and water bottle; and free admission to Story Land for the day of the event.
Believe in Books’ Erin Sweeney shared a few changes to the event this year to give families more time to enjoy some of the event’s ancillary activities. “Our usual pre-race activities including the book swap and smoothie bike are being moved to inside the park after the race. Kids will be able to use their free admission to the park to visit our book swap table and to have a chance to try out Memorial Hospital's smoothie bike and get their free water bottle upon showing their race bib. There will still be characters around the start/finish line before and during the race to hand out medals and take photos.”
All runners must pre-register for the event. Registration is available online at believeinbooks.org/kids-fun-run-at-story-land.html. You can also visit Memorial Hospital’s Facebook page and website to find this link to register.
The Fun Run is part of Memorial Hospital’s Let’s Go childhood wellness initiative.
This year’s activities will be expanded to include additional schools and more students at other community sites, such as pre-schools and day-care centers to help them work towards receiving official “Let’s Go” program certification. Let’s Go is an evidence based program that works to reduce childhood obesity through better nutrition, more exercise and less screen time.
The Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament netted over $43,000 at its 2017 event, all of which has been earmarked for use for the Let’s Go initiative. Hundreds of golfers and corporate sponsors supported the program at the annual event at the Wentworth Golf Course in Jackson. Information on the golf event can be found at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/golf.