Pumpkin Patch Classic 5K benefits local special needs children

Published 12:12 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

GRAMERCY — Pumpkin Patch Classic 5K participants are asked to report on Oct. 28 to St. James Parish Welcome Center on Airline Highway, regardless of whether traffic diversion from the Sunshine Bridge closure forces an alternate race route, coordinators said.

If all goes as planned, coordinator Shane Duhe said participants will be bused over the Veterans Memorial Bridge beginning at 8:40 a.m., with the race back to the Welcome Center beginning at 9 a.m.

According to Duhe, the St. James Sheriff’s Office is monitoring the situation and will announce route changes if necessary, though the Welcome Center meeting location will remain the same.

No route changes were made as of press time Friday morning.

On-site registration for the 5K run/walk begins at 7 a.m., including an entry fee of $25 with a dry-fit T-shirt or $15 without a T-Shirt.

Runners will return to a celebration with complimentary jambalaya, chips, fruit and drinks.

After scoring is complete, awards will be presented to the overall male and female competitors, as well as the first, second and third place male and female finishers in the following age groups: 8 and under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 & over.

Entering its eighth year, the Pumpkin Patch Classic 5K is a joint charity effort between the Lutcher/Gramercy Lion’s Club and the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Duhe, a Lion’s Club member, said the well-attended race typically raises $5,000 to $6,000 from registration and sponsorships.

“It’s for a great cause because all proceeds go toward helping special needs children in this community,” Duhe said.

“It supports the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office Special Olympics Torch Run and the Lion’s Club Crippled Children’s Camp, which is held every summer for children with disabilities.”

Lion’s Club summer camps are held in June and July, focusing on youth ages 6 to 19 with mental and physical disabilities.

According to Duhe, Lutcher/Gramercy Lion’s Club members also provide vision and glaucoma screenings and scholarships to high school students.

Torch Runs are held by law enforcement throughout Louisiana to raise money and awareness for local Special Olympics events.

For more information about the Pumpkin Patch Classic 5K, call 225-241-8357.