When Hillcrest High’s Robby Bell was approached about bringing the Canned Food 5K race and food drive to his school, the Rams’ cross country coach said he was eager to accept.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do something for our community and have our kids be able to have a hand in helping others out, especially right here in our local community,” Bell said.
The event has continually grown in its fundraising efforts, and this year’s Canned Food 5K on Sept. 25 — which involved 22 schools and just shy of 900 runners — led to the collection of 12,924 cans.
“We’ve been fortunately enough to raise a lot of canned good for Golden Strip Emergency Relief, and this year we’re also going to donate some it to Greer Relief as well,” Bell said. “So we’re really excited about it and really that our kids get to take part in that.”
“The fact that these kids get together and raid their mothers’ closets and daddies’ closets and food closets and bring it down to help out somebody else, when that person might not be their neighbor, it just gives you a really nice feeling,” said Julia Baynes, director of Golden Strip Emergency Relief.
“While they want to win, everybody wins. When they work hard to win, then the people who need it get a good selection of food that will hopefully help them over a crisis.”
In the seventh year of the event, Riverside collected the most cans for the sixth time, with 3,609. Hillcrest was second with 3,159, followed by Eastside with 1,146.
Riverside won the girls meet with 24 points. St. Joseph’s was second with 54. Sophomore Sara Catherine Masaschi led the Knights with a runner-up finish in 19 minutes, 34 seconds. St. Joseph’s seventh-grader Annika Bissinger was fourth in 19:48.
* Hillcrest senior Will Barlow won the Cavalier Classic on Sept. 28 with a time of 16:13, the 10th-fastest ever run on the Dorman High School course.