Children's Mansion gears up for big race

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – To some, running 3.1 miles is nothing more than a way to burn calories and outrun weight gain, but that’s not the case for a handful of children from the Tupelo Children’s Mansion.
The fourth annual Children’s Mansion 5K run and fundraiser is Saturday, and organizer and mansion employee Burton Garr said the run is so much more than a springtime stroll.
“This is a very big event for the mansion but it’s even bigger for the children who are running it,” said Garr. “It’s so much more than just getting out there and running. For at least a day they get to run away from some of the hardships they’ve faced in their lives and just enjoy the event.”
Last year, the race, which is one of the mansion’s biggest fundraisers, brought in $75,000, a number Burton hopes to eclipse this year. But with this being the 58th year since the mansion first opened its doors, Garr said the children have a personal goal of raising at least $58,000. The overall goal is $100,000.
The theme of this year’s race is “Don’t let them run it alone.” The children at the mansion pair up with local business owners to form teams. The businesses donate and collect money for their teams.
So far some of the teams that are already in the race are Tupelo Coca Cola, Dr. Catherine Mincy, O’Charley’s, Anytime Fitness, Papa John’s, Verizon, Goo Goo, Atlanta Bread, Old Venice, Marine Corps League, John Michael Bailey Law Office and Select Staffing. Each team receives a special poster with their logo, team T-shirt and team website that they can use to promote the race and take donations for the team.
The funds raised from this event help with everyday expenses for children at the mansion.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@journalinc.com.

How to take part
- To register for the race, donate to the kids or start a 5K team, go to mansionevents.org or contact Burton Gaar at (662) 791-7800 or burtongaar@mansionkids.org. The race will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.