BLACK RIVER — A group from the Black River United Methodist Church hopes its inaugural It Takes a Village 5K on Aug. 4 will raise funds to kick off its outreach initiative — the Good Neighbors Network.

The Rev. Robert J. McCarthy, the church’s pastor, said the initiative is not quite a network yet, but he hopes it will grow into one.

“(The initiative) was created in the church to bring the village together in an effort to help the community,” he said.

“Neighbors helping neighbors.”

The online mission statement says the funds raised by the organization will help people in need of assistance in the Black River and surrounding local areas — including families in the military.

“Black River has a lot of military families,” said the pastor. “They have unique needs and a willingness to help. We want to create a network to address needs as they come up.”

The Rev. Mr. McCarthy said help could include household repairs while a soldier was deployed or renovating a home for a disabled person.

“We will aim to help the village as a whole,” said the pastor’s wife, Nelda G. McCarthy.

The Rev. Mr. McCarthy noted the village has been supportive: the board gave permission for the run and the Department of Public Works, Black River Area Rescue Squad, Black River Volunteer Fire Department along with St. John’s Episcopal Church have pledged to help on race day, along with a youth group from a First Baptist Church in Virginia who will be assisting with the run.

Runners can register online at for $25, plus an online service fee, by Monday to be guaranteed a race shirt.

Race-day registration is $30 with no guarantee of a shirt. No refunds, transfers or credits will be available. Packet pick-up and race day registration will be from 7 to 8:30 a.m.

The run begins and ends at the Maple Street Park, 101 Public Works Drive, in Black River.

The ceremonial passing of the baton is at 8:55 a.m. The run starts at 9 a.m. An awards ceremony and post-race celebration will be at 10 a.m.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers. Children age 10 and younger who finish the 5K will receive finishers medals.

The post race party will included music, popcorn, cotton candy and drinks. There will be a bounce house for the children as well as fresh fruit and water for the race participants.

Strollers are welcome, but pets, bicycles, skateboards and roller blades are not.

The Advisory Board of the Good Neighbors Network plans to make initial distribution of funds raised through this event on or about Oct. 1.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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