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‘Superheroes’ brave elements for a good cause

By Staff | Oct 12, 2018

Submitted photo Rev. Elaine Sveet (right) takes a photo with First Lutheran church’s 7th Grade Mission Experts, who helped organize Wednesday’s Super Hero Fun Run & Walk.

Even superheroes needed a little extra help from warm coats and gloves with their capes Wednesday evening as they ran, walked or biked in First Lutheran Church’s Super Hero Run and Walk.

The church’s 7th Grade Mission Experts organized the event with help from Pastor Elaine Sveet.

The event featured a 2k race for children 12 and under, and a 5k race for participants of all ages. Contestants had the option of running, walking or biking on the route which wound through Rugby, beginning and ending in front of the Church at 202 4th St. Southeast.

7th graders Kaedyn DeMontigny and Rylee Geiszler told the Tribune they expected “a lot of runners” to be in costume for the 2k event, as they prepared materials for pre-registration before the race.

“Probably more kids than adults,” Geiszler said. “I think we had a good amount (of participants) last year,” she continued.

DeMontigny said the 7th graders “got the idea from the class last year, and we kind of just copied it.”

The girls said the run/walk, and barbecue supper that followed were organized to raise money for Lutheran Disaster Response.

Pastor Sveet described last year’s event as “incredibly successful”.

“I helped to organize the event last year,” Sveet said. “It was incredibly successful; I think we raised around $2,500 for Lutheran Disaster Response. Our 7th graders chose that the money would go to the same place this year.”

Sveet said the Mission Experts’ decision to support Lutheran Disaster Response was “timely”, as the charity’s purpose is to help communities affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires.

“Hurricane Florence was certainly on our minds when we were planning this, and now Hurricane Michael is hitting,” Sveet noted. “Last year, it was Hurricane Harvey they were battling.”

The 7th graders and Sveet hoped the event would be a success despite the evening’s temperatures, which dipped below 35 degrees.

Like true superheroes, those who bundled up and participated put on their masks and capes, and lined up to begin their races. One 5k participant brought her dog, decked out in blue dog-sized cape with a red letter “S” on the back.

Describing the run/walk’s theme, Sveet said, “Be a superhero for your neighbor. Even when it’s a neighbor you haven’t met. We’re trying to do our best to help our neighbor in other places.”

Hudson Hager won the 2k/under 12 race. Helen Ferguson took 1st place for the 5k runners category, while Hubert Seiler and Dee Dee Bischoff took 1st for the 5k walking event.

After the race, Sveet said in a written statement, “We are so impressed by the hearty people who showed up to run and walk Wednesday October 10th for the 2nd Annual Super Hero Run! While it was cold and windy here to run, Hurricane Michael was ripping Florida apart. We are so pleased we could be Super Heroes for our Neighbors in Florida by raising money for Lutheran Disaster Response! Donations can still be given by delivering a check to First Lutheran with Super Hero Run marked on the memo line. Your financial support is super appreciated as the weather meant we only had 1/4 of the racers compared to last year. Super Hero Run T-shirts are available for $15. Thank you to our local race sponsors 95.3 FM, Thrivent, I-Design, Leevers, and our local police force who led the way and blocked intersections for the safety of our runners and walkers. The 7th Grade Mission Experts of First Lutheran did a great job organizing this race, as a way to put their faith and care for neighbor into action!”

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