The theme for the 28th annual Open Door Classic on Saturday is "Run for One' and for the first time that is what participants will be able to do.
"There will be signs around Woodruff Park with pictures and stories about people whose lives have been changed at Open Door. The people have given us consent to use them because they want others to know of the good work being done here," said Kim Jenkins, executive director of Open Door.
Director of Development Susan Sealy called it is a way for participants to identify with an Open Door client who is working through struggles to leave to leave poverty behind.
"We hope everyone will read our client testimonials, find one that inspires them, and walk or run on his or her behalf," Sealy said.
Registration for the 5K run is 7 a.m. with the run beginning at 8 a.m. The fastest in each age division will get an award. All participants will receive an Open Door t-shirt. Big Dog Running Company will handle the 5K registration and timing.
Registration for the walk, in which participants may walk any distance they choose, is a 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9 a.m.
The classic course begins and ends at 10th Street and Bay Avenue downtown. The route includes both Columbus and Phenix City.
The registration fee for the run will be $30 on Saturday but $25 for those who register online at joinus.odch.org before 4 p.m. Friday. The registration fee for the walk is $25.
Hundreds run each year in the event that raises money for Open Door's ministries that seek to empower impoverished people to meet their full potential as children of God. Open Door has been serving the public since 1935.
Jenkins said that about $112,000 was raised last year and this year's goal is $115,000.
"I think we can do that. I have heard a lot of buzz from churches who are excited about the Classic," Jenkins said.
Live music by Second Baptist Worship and refreshments including a limited number of Krispy Kreme donuts and Chick-fil-A biscuits will be available at the event that Jenkins said is about not only money but making people aware of what Open Door does.
"The Classic is an event for the whole family. It is a fun way for men, women and children to get some exercise and help their neighbors at the same time," Jenkins said.