Student organizes race for charity
By LPR Staff
In running circles, the word “Lockhart” has long-since been synonymous with “legendary runners.” For better than a decade, the Lockhart Lions cross country team has dominated in races both statewide and nationally. Even so, with the exception of two or three invitational meets that Lockhart High hosts each year, not many organ
ized activities have been available to runners in Lockhart.
Scott Woody is going to change all of that. What”s more, the 16-year-old LHS sophomore is organizing his race without any thought of personal gain.
Woody, who is working toward his Eagle Scout, decided to organize the “BBQ Capital of Texas 5K” as his community service project. The proceeds of the race will be split between the Caldwell County Christian Ministries (CCCM) food pantry and the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.
“Last summer, I was trying to think of ways I could help,” Woody said. “I knew I wanted to do something with running.”
Woody doesn”t want or expect any attention for organizing the race, which became a massive undertaking almost overnight.
“We”re expecting probably 2,000 – 3,000 runners,” he said. “When I first started, I was hoping to get at least 500… as people get involved, it”s looking like it”s going to be very successful.”
Although his parents and several volunteers from the community are assisting Woody in his task, he said he is doing the most of the leg-work on his own. That leg-work includes distributing posters, flyers and entry forms, publicizing and advertising the race and coordinating with volunteers.
“We have all of the Scout troops involved,” he said. “Most of the cross country team is involved in one way or another and the student council from the junior high school is going to help.”
When asked why he chose the food bank as the beneficiary of this race, Woody simply smiled.
“A lot of people bring in stuff that no one wants to eat,” he said. “They can do a lot more with money than they can with food donations. When they have money, they can buy things cheap because they get discounts. They can also get what they need when they need it, because storage space is an issue.”
According to figures Woody provided, more than half of the residents the food pantry serves are children, and another 14 percent are elderly.
The CCCM was founded 28 years ago through cooperative efforts between several area churches. The thought process behind the organization was that it would benefit the community to have one centralized food bank to serve county residents.
Because Caldwell County is among the poorest counties in the state and CCCM has a policy never to turn anyone away, their resources can become strained rather quickly. Further, the organization recently changed locations, causing a financial loss of several thousand dollars because of added utility and rent costs.
Woody hopes that the “BBQ Capital of Texas 5K” will help change some of that. Each participant in the race will pay a $20 entry fee. If the race draws the participation Woody expects, he will be able to donate upwards of $60,000 to CCCM. In turn, CCCM will forward 25 percent of the proceeds to the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund.
Many area businesses are assisting Woody in his efforts, including each of the four barbecue restaurants. In fact, the first 500 entrants will receive a ticket for free barbecue.
The race, which Woody calls a “fast course” will be held on March 19, 2005. It will begin at the Lockhart Junior High School on City Line Road, progressing south on City Line and then east on Clear Fork Street to Clearfork Elementary. After turning around at Clearfork Elementary, the course leads back to the junior high.
“I want to make it as enjoyable as possible and have a large turnout,” Woody said. “It will be a successful as a Scout project whether it is successful as a fundraiser or not. It just has to happen. But I hope it goes well, because I have a lot of motivation to help.”
For additional information on the BBQ Capital of Texas 5K, contact the CCCM at 376-6661.