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Farmington Hills, Farmington

August 4, 2014

Run for the Hills to benefit the Special Olympics

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON/FARMINGTON HILLS — Want to walk or run for a good cause? Then lace up your shoes for the fifth annual Run for the Hills event Aug. 16 at Shiawassee Park.

Last year, Edmund Anderson, director and creator of the event, said the 1k, 5k and 10k courses — starting and ending at the park — benefit athletes of Special Olympics Oakland County. The group of volunteer coaches and more than 1,000 intellectually disabled athletes train and compete year-round in 15 sports and tournaments, according to www.farmingtonrunforthehills.com.

The past four Run for the Hills events have garnered  $20,000 for Special Olympics athletes of Oakland County.

Ted Stern, director of Farmington-based Team Farmington’s Special Olympics Team, and his group volunteers with the race. He said the money has helped the roughly 60 athletes he oversees with purchasing uniforms, travel expenses and other costs.

“All we do is show up the day (of the race) and bring volunteers,” Stern said. “A lot of the same ones are doing it year after year, and they enjoy it. They found their niche.”

Stern said that it is getting harder to raise money every year, and expenses are rising.

“We are getting a lot bigger, and it is getting pretty costly, especially going to state events,” he said. “We need a lot of funding. The money is well spent and comes in handy.”

He said that although growth in numbers is good for his organization, it also means more expenses coming out of pocket. The organization operates solely through donations.

“It is helpful when more people pitch in and donate,” he said. The organization takes in around $35,000-$40,000 annually.

The race also awards $1,000 total in cash prizes to race winners.

From 5k high school boys and girls teams to 10k men’s and women’s teams, racers are vying for the gold, silver and bronze medals.

The first year’s event drew 400 runners; the second year, 500 — in 2013, over 700 attended.

“Our goal every year is to deliver an event that you consider to be your favorite run of the year,” Anderson said on his website,  www.farmingtonrunforthehills.com. “We’re all proud and excited that the event will once again benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Oakland County.

Stern agreed and said his group’s athletes are also eager to participate.

“They really enjoy it,” he said. “It is just another event that gets us all together, which we all love.”

To make a donation or assist Team Farmington’s Special Olympics Team, email Stern at tstern919@aol.com.

Race registration is at 6:30 a.m.; the race begins at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, go to http://www.farmingtonrunforthehills.com/.