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Lake Orion 5k walk/race helps kids succeed

August 28, 2013 - By Katelyn Winkler

Review Staff Writer

Children, teenagers and adults came downtown last Friday night to participate in the first annual OXLO 5K run/walk to Help Kids Succeed.

Dragon on the Lake teamed up with the Lake Orion Methodist Church and Beaumont Hospital to bring eyeglasses, school supplies and other needs to children in the Oxford, Orion area.

By the end of registration and sponsorships, over $2,000 was donated from all 167 runners and walkers along with donations from 'Wiches, Hanson's Running Shop, Orion Marine boat rentals, Tina M. Marshall Dentistry, fLipSpot gymnastics and cheer, Caruso Chiropractic, Emily Graffeom, Dr. Robert E Deck III OD, and Greg and Debbie Heyboer.

"We've been one of the lead partners with Dragon on the Lake since it began," Amy Lieblein, from the Lake Orion Methodist Church, said. "I just thought that it would enhance the event to make Friday night more of an event and that we would get more people because we would be able to tap into that resources of Dragon on the Lake, as far as promoting goes, which really helped. We got all their advertising. Everything they did, helped us. We really tried hard to be a big partner because we're right here in the village and we like to be involved."

Going into the event Friday, the run committee did not expect there to be so many people to sign up at the last minute.

A week before the race only 50 people were signed up, two days before there were 113 and minutes before the race there was a total of 167.

"We've been working on this since March, to get sponsors, to decide for design of t-shirt, figure out the route. The event planner was able to get with Crittenton involved. To have them sponsor the race, they put an advertisement on their electronic billboard on I-75, which was really awesome," Lieblein said.

The 3.1 mile course began at Blanche Sims Elementary School and went through the streets of downtown, where volunteers directed the racers around the turns, provided water, and cheered on the participants.

"We wanted it to be downtown so it was close to the church. We love the historic homes in downtown LO and thought it was a beautiful course. We wanted to give another opportunity to the people in the village to be outside of their homes cheering for the runners as they went by. That's why we stayed on the North side of Flint Street so we could wind in and out of the village streets," Lieblein said.

Once the racers ran through the finish line, they proceeded through the church where sponsors provided snacks and beverages. Participants were given the chance to bid in the silent auction to support local organizations and take home a cherished item.

Once the course was clear, Lieblein announced all of the winners in each age group and all of the overall winners. The top three received a plaque with their professional photo included, while everyone received a ribbon for participation.

The LO Methodist Church received positive feedback following the race and plan to make this 5k an annual part of Dragon on the Lake for years to come.

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