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Firecracker 5k supports marginalized community needs

Posted at 3:13 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 07:08:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Nearly 500 runners in red, white, and blue took off around Cascades Park Monday to kick off the Fourth of July, many with freedom and celebration top of mind.

"Oh my gosh, the independence of America, the constitution," runner Jonathon Lyons exclaimed, while reflecting on the reason for the run.

Friendly competition motivated winners like Matthew Mizereck, who clocked a 5k first place finishing time of 17 minutes 5 seconds.

"Seeing that I can still run at least 17's is pretty remarkable, and I'm pretty happy about it," Mizereck said.

Sno cones, face painting, and bounce houses gave kids a reason to celebrate, some of then even heading home with bragging rights.

"I won a gold medal," Alana Tarrant shared.

Young lives like theirs are a big part of what's kept the Capital City Kiwanis Club and the
Virtual Kiwanis Club of the Big Bend
hosting the Firecracer 5k for nearly 40 years.

"Well that's part of our Kiwanis mission," Capital City Kiwanis Club member Jim Ledbetter says. "We are dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time."

Holding her infant Kairy, Kiyra Pollock said, "That means a lot to me especially now that I have a young one coming up."

While more than two-thirds of the Kiwanis service projects center around kids, Ledbetter assured, "Our mission is not just children, but it's also our community at large."

They lead projects like assisting the homeless through meal service at Grace Mission, they aid local vets by helping facilitate the honor flight to D.C., they even regularly visit the elderly.

"We have a weekly meals on wheels route, so every member gets involved in that, and it's always a wonderful thing to go in and give someone a smile, and a meal, and say we hope you have a good day," Ledbetter said.

Each step from runners in this year's Firecracker 5k will go a long way to wards creating diverse support all across the capital city.

To learn more about the Kiwanis club or future service efforts, click here.