The Chick-fil-A Corporation is well known for the generous ways it gives back to the community. Of special meaning to me is the heart they have for at-risk kids, and they have 13 homes for foster children operating all over our nation. Each year the local Chick-fil-A franchise is given the opportunity to organize a benefit event of their own choosing for the community, and for the second year in a row, Athens Chick-fil-A is sponsoring a 5K run for Bridge of Hope Adoption Ministry. It will be held at 8 am on Saturday, April 6th.
Bridge of Hope Adoption Ministry was started with the purpose of providing financial, emotional, spiritual and practical support for families who are in the process of adopting children, whether in the States or abroad. Foreign adoptions are especially challenging in every regard, and it is not at all uncommon for a foreign adoption to cost up to 30 thousand dollars, sometimes excluding travel. Several people involved with Bridge of Hope have themselves persevered through the sometimes daunting adoption process, and want to be of great help to those who feel the high calling of becoming what is known as a “forever family” to a child in need. If you are interested either in adopting or helping those who wish to, please visit www.bridgeofhopeadoptionministry.com.
An added aspect to the “story behind the story” regarding this year’s particular charity 5K is that Matthew Kyle, (the owner of the Athens Chick-fil-A outlet,) and his wife Ann have just brought home from China their daughter Addy Mei, (pronounced May, and which means ‘beautiful’ in Chinese.) The Kyles have two biological children, Lyndsay and Landon, and Addy has happily become their third child. Addy Mei was left at an orphanage at the age of 3 weeks. Given China’s “one child rule,” as well as the fact that it is not at all uncommon for female babies to be killed at birth there, little Addy’s life most definitely has had God’s hand of mercy upon it. She hails from Jiang Xi province in SE China, and Matthew’s tale of the family meeting her and the instantaneous bonding that occurred with all of them will bring a tear to your eye. She calls him Bah Bah, and Matt says, “It’s like we have always all been together.”
So, on to the particulars of the event; and for more information on the race or to register online, you can go to www.active.com or www.cfaraceseries.com. You can also register at the Chick-fil-A store which is located at 1291 Hwy 72 E, right across from Starbucks. The phone number is 256-233-8900, and you can ask for Lisa. The race will start at 8 am on April 6th on the corner of Fitness Way and Washington, right at the Wellness Center. Each participant has the option of running or walking, and can do a one mile, a 5K or a 10K. You can even walk your kid in a stroller! The cost for the one mile is $25 pre-race, $30 on race day. The 5K costs $25 pre-race, $30 on race day, and the 10 K costs $30 pre-race, $35 on race day. Pre- registering will insure that you get an event T shirt. People of all ages are invited to participate, and kids under the age of 19 need their parent’s or guardian’s signature on the registration form in order to participate.
As usual, there will be generous prizes provided by Chick-fil-A which include the opportunity to win free Chick-fil-A food for a year. Prizes are given for age groups and based on which race is run.
Race split times will be called on each mile. (A split time is somewhat like having a pace car that helps the runner/walker know what they need to do to keep up and finish the race within a standard course time.) There will also be aid stations at the beginning, middle and end of the race course, a welcome comfort, as even April weather in Athens can be pretty warm.
So, come “join the herd” and put on your running shoes for the 10K, 5k & 1 Mile Run/Walk through the Chick-fil-A® Connect Race Series. You can even dress up like a cow if you want to in order to win! What’s not to love about that?
Last year there were around 475 participants, and Matt is hoping that this year will top 600. “There are 147 million kids world wide that need to be adopted, and we are glad to be able to help Bridge of Hope meet that huge need. We’ll do it by doing what we do well--serve good food, offer great customer service, and give back to our community.” Addy Mei and Chick-fil-A thank you in advance for being a part of such a great event and cause. See you on the 6th!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner