5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run fundraiser to benefit families living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia

Annual McElveen Race For The ARK

The ARK, Alzheimer’s family support services, announces that early bird registration for its 21st Annual McElveen Race For The ARK is now open through August 20. The race is planned for August 22, 2020 and will take place in historic downtown Summerville. Race proceeds will benefit The ARK in its work providing comprehensive support services to families living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia. The annual event funds programs such as memory screenings, resource fairs, educational workshops, and support groups in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties plus respite centers in Harleyville and Summerville.

The race includes a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run – both races begin and end at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 206 Central Ave. The 5K begins at 7:45 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run kicks off at 8:45 a.m.

“Last year our communities raised $38,000 with 680 runners and walkers participating in The Race for the ARK. Every dollar raised went to our innovative programs that support families living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia” said Peg Lahmeyer, executive director of The ARK. “We are excited to welcome McElveen as our 2020 title sponsor. This year’s race will be particularly important because our program is needed now more than ever.”

In South Carolina, 95,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is estimated to rise to 120,000 by the year 2025. The state has the sixth highest Alzheimer's death rate in America and has seen a 122 percent increase in deaths since 2000.

Registration for the 5K run/walk is $35 with a T-shirt and $25 without a T-shirt. Register for the 1-mile fun run for $10 or $30 for a family of four (T-shirts are not included with the fun run registration).

Registration and packet pickup will be noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 21 and from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. on race day in St. Luke's Fellowship Hall. Day-of registration for the 5K is $40. Day-of registration for the 1-mile fun run is $15 or $35 for a family of four.

Awards will be given to the top three overall female and male winners as well as in several age groups. Plus, $100 will be awarded to the first female and male to break the course records.

Youth Running Teams from local schools are invited to compete in the Youth Team Challenge. Registration for Youth Teams can be done through high school coaches and online. Students who participate enjoy a great training run and fun competition to start the running season. Registration is $35 with a T-shirt and $25 without. The deadline for team registration is Aug. 12. Students under 18 must have the parent or guardian waiver signed.

Businesses can create teams of five or more runners as part of the Corporate Challenge. The winning team (combined best times) will receive a hand-crafted traveling trophy to display for one year. The cost is $350 and the deadline to register is July 20.

Race organizers are following local government regulations and CDC guidelines to ensure there will be safety measures in place throughout the race day.

Learn more and register for the Race for The ARK at www.TheARKofSC.org. For more information on Corporate Team Challenge, Youth Team Challenge, or sponsorship opportunities, contact Megan Severn at info@thearkofsc.org.

Based in Summerville, The ARK is a local nonsectarian nonprofit outreach program providing hope and relief to families living with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia (ADRD). Support services include social respite care, support groups, education, caregiver consultations, resource referrals and community development. For more information, call 843-471-1360 or visit thearkofsc.org.

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