JACKSON TWP. Friday the 13th turned out to be a lucky for all of the local superheroes taking on the Run4Kids Superhero 5K race at the Stark State and Kent State at Stark campuses. Hundreds of runners and walkers, many dressed in their finest superhero attire, from Jackson Township and across Stark County ran to help two local organizations that help local kids.
The newly formed combined race is part of the Ohio Challenge Series and was jointly sponsored by Tiqvah Hands of Hope and Belden Village Kiwanis.
"Combining the races that each of the organizations held separately in the past has been great." said Lyndon Thomas of the Belden Village Kiwanis. "We both have a shared mission to help kids and the turnout for the race has been great. The theme is new for us both and it has been great. It’s a win-win for both of our groups."
"We’ve got lots of families and lots of kids and a lot of teams from local companies came out to support us this evening, we’re grateful for everyone coming out to run," added Tiqvah Executive Director Lesley Doan.
There was a DJ playing music throughout the evening. Plus, there was plenty of energy foods such as bananas and free water to help keep everyone hydrated. Before the adult race started at 8 p.m., there was a kids race held in the parking lot. Most of the kids had superhero costumes, T-shirts or capes on while racing.
Tiqvah Hands of Hope is an after-school program in Canton City Schools for children first through eighth grades. Kids receive help with their homework, learn life skills, get involved with physical activities, character development, mentoring based on the biblical principles, there is a clothing boutique and they experience the arts, science and other enrichment opportunities. Plus, kids receive a full dinner before going home.
Tiqvah was started in 2009 by Sarah Kropf & Michelle Humble (Kropf). They saw a need for an after-school program that did more than help with homework. While grades are an important part of making a new future, it's hard to study when hungry or dealing with a personal tragedy or stress.
Kiwanis supports three area Key Clubs - Jackson, GlenOak and Fairless high schools - and offers annual college scholarships and helps with area charitable organizations like the Stark County Hunger Task Force, Akron Children's Hospital and others. It also is involved with projects making an impact with kids in both local and global communities.