Crossing the finish line: APA’s unique race event raises $5,000
Student guitarists perform at Arendell Parrott Academy’s ‘Miles for Meaning’ race; from left, Aspen Manning, Addie Cheek, Parker Edwards, Jenks Jenkins, and Ren Outlaw. Photo by Vicki Kennedy / Arendell Parrott Academy
It began with one runner on a rural road struck by a car. It ended with 152 runners on a school campus soaking up the November sunshine and pounding the pavement for a worthy cause. Arendell Parrott Academy’s unique “Miles for Meaning” fundraising race, an annual fixture for four years, ended on a high note on Nov. 17.
Faculty member and race coordinator Leslie Lewis said the event’s origin was special.
“We started this race in 2015 to show our love and support for Mitzi Moye, a dear friend and co-worker who suffered a traumatic brain injury that summer after being hit by a car while she was out for her morning run,” she said. “The doctors and therapists in the traumatic brain injury rehabilitation unit at Vidant worked to get her back out on the road running again.”
That November, faculty, students and families at Parrott registered for the first “Miles for Mitzi” 5k race and 1-mile walk/run. Registration fees and business sponsorships raised thousands of dollars, most of it donated to the Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Greenville’s Vidant Hospital.
Moye and her family members were on hand to help celebrate.
“This race gave us a way to turn a horrible accident into something positive, “ she said.
After its initial success, the event was re-named “Miles for Meaning.”
Fast forward to this year’s race. As runners checked in, a festive atmosphere prevailed. Parrott guitar teacher Debbie Fallin and her students strummed popular songs for the crowd while faculty volunteers handed out free water and snacks under a tent. At the end of the 5K, staff member Tate Mooring crossed the finish line first. But every runner felt the spectators’ encouragement.
As the morning drew to a close, more than $5,000 had been raised. This brought the “Miles” four-year fundraising total to approximately $40,000.
Leslie Lewis expressed the giving spirit of the day.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's race,” she said. “With the conclusion of this 2018 event, we are signing off, eternally grateful for your love and support.”