This year, Xpress was a media sponsor of the 35th annual Thomas Wolfe 8 K race, held on Saturday, Oct. 22. The event’s web site bills the run as “The Race for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial,” adding that it “winds through beautiful downtown Asheville, North Carolina, passing into the Historic Montford District and Riverside Cemetery, before finishing in front of Bankers Insurance at 77 Central Ave.”
Approximately 300 runners participated. According to race organizer Kelly Allen, the cost of the race is about $15,000 — most of which is raised from sponsorships (runners pay a $30-$35 registration fee). Proceeds from application fees and sponsorships were slated, according to the website, “to benefit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and the Asheville Track Club Shoe Fund.” However, since Allen — a first time organizer for this event — is a school teacher, she decided to “to tie in early childhood literacy, so we targeted a local non-profit for local children.” That non-profit, Read 2 Succeed provides, “free reading services to underachieving youth in first through third grades using phonics reading methodology,” according to its Facebook page.
“Originally we were planning to donate $1,000 to Read 2 Succeed,” Allen tells Xpress. Due to a successful sponsorship campaign, “We were able to donate $2,500.”
As for the two organizations slated to receive funds, Allen says the Thomas Wolfe Memorial will receive $300, approximately $1 per runner. The Asheville Track Club Shoe Fund receives 10-percent of the net money raised, totally about $500 for this year. That money, according to Allen, “provides free shoes to economically disadvantaged youth through Buncombe high schools.” It also adds to a scholarship fund for high school students who want to attend a running camp. Students interested in benefiting from this fund can requests assistance through their high school coaches.