Runners and walkers will gather at Sly Fox’s Eight-Twenty at the Mills event venue to begin the race. Participants are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items and blankets prior to the race. These items will be donated to Opportunity House.
Runners and walkers choose between a two- and four-mile course from Wyomissing to Opportunity House in Reading. Participants are encouraged to bring a new teddy bear. When they arrive at Opportunity House, they will place the teddy bears on tables provided outside of Opportunity House’s Second Street Learning Center.
“The teddy bears provide comfort to children at the shelter throughout the year,” noted Stacy Perlaki, Director of Development. “The number of teddy bears increases each year. It’s wonderful to see all the teddy bears, knowing that each one will provide comfort to a child in need,” she added.
This annual event, sponsored by Fleet Feet, West Reading, allows their community of runners to enjoy a fun run while benefiting those in need in our community. “We look forward to this event each year,” said Jason Corby, General Manager. This year, runners are invited to wear-test Karhu shoes, an exclusive Fleet Feet product. Karhu is Finnish for the word “bear,” making their brand a perfect partner for this event. Fleet Feet will also donate 15% of the sales of any Karhu shoes sold between Feb. 11-20 to the Opportunity House.
There is a $15 registration fee for the event. “Proceeds from the registration fee are donated to Opportunity House to help them serve those who are homeless in our community,” said Jason Corby, General Manager, Fleet Feet. After the race, the Fleet Feet team will be preparing and serving a meal to clients at Opportunity House.
In addition to providing emergency shelter, Opportunity House is a Keystone 4-star Early Childhood Learning Center with programs for children from 6 weeks to 13 years. Opportunity House provides housing for over 100 clients through their supportive, short-term, and permanent housing programs. These programs offer long-term support as part of the extended Opportunity House community.