Greater Miami Youth For Christ (GMYFC) executive director Bonnie Rodriguez recently announced the results of the fourth annual 5K Miami Wild Run and Family Fun Walk on Nov. 9 at Zoo Miami.
“We are thrilled to report that there were 927 participants and a total of $79,856 in funds raised, which will help tremendously in our efforts to reach troubled teens in Miami-Dade County, through the message of the Gospel and with our talented staff of supportive youth leaders whose outreaches to young people continue to multiply.”
The 5K Run and Fun Walk was presented by Baptist Health of South Florida, along with dozens of corporate sponsors including: The Courtelis Company; Fit 2 Run in Dadeland Mall; Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables; Mercedes Benz of Cutler Bay; Falk Waas Hernandez Cortina Solomon & Bonner PA; Kirtland Financial Management Inc.; Marilyn Brown Photography; Sunstate Bank; TD Bank; Publix Supermarket; Mokher Plumbing; Ellie Mills State Farm Insurance Agency; Richard Burke State Farm Insurance Agency; Old Cutler Presbyterian Church; Mendez Insurance; LIFE FM Christian Radio, and Good News Publishing Company.
The morning setup began before dawn, with a light rain, which threatened to increase in strength but, thankfully, did not, according to Rodriguez. “We rejoiced when the rain stopped, and we could begin our event on time.”
The winner of the 5K run, with the fastest time was Bryan Sharkey, who completed the run in 16 minutes, 18 seconds. He received a gold “Wild Run” medal and a $100 gift card from “Fit 2 Run,” the runner’s superstore in Dadeland Mall.
First, second and third place finishers in each age/gender category received a “Wild Run” medal and top finishers also received “Fit 2 Run” gift cards. The top fundraiser received special “4-Park Hopper” passes to Walt Disney World.
Along with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, bagels and cream cheese, donuts and coffee served by dozens of volunteers, there were several bounce houses for kids of all ages, plus the Imagination Playground that was provided by the Miami Children’s Museum. Special children’s games were led by various leaders of Miami Youth For Christ, too, as well as face painting, cotton candy and caricatures by local artist, Manny Cartoon, “just for kids, or kids at-heart.”
LIFE FM Radio host James Shepard was the morning emcee, providing his quick wit and astute observations to the gathered crowd, while Burnie the Heat mascot joined in for a hilarious cup of coffee. Among those groups performing on stage were members of CATALYST, a Youth For Christ-sponsored program that connects with hip-hoppers, break dancers, deejays and graffiti artists.
Live music was provided all morning long by Kendall Presbyterian Church Praise Band. The Children’s Voices Chorus, a community choir comprised of talented young boys and girls and under the direction of (Mrs.) Jamie Sutta, sang several songs, including an African-themed song to help wake up the zoo animals.
If you want more information about Greater Miami Youth For Christ, or would like to become a volunteer, call the office, 9350 SW 79 Ave., at 305-271-2442.
Next year’s 5K Miami Wild Run and Family Fun Walk at Zoo Miami is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 8.