The second annual Community Kolor Run for United Way pulled in $7,400 for the Merrill Area United Way, bringing the event’s two-year donation to over $15,000.
Riverside Athletic Club started sponsoring a run to benefit the United Way eight years ago, beginning with the Run United timed race. The change in format to a color run/walk has greatly increased the appeal of the event. While Run United never broke 300 participants, the Kolor Run drew more than 700 this year.
The Kolor Run featured seven color stations, each manned by volunteers from local businesses or organizations. Many other volunteers donated their time to make the event a success.
“All our volunteers are really incredible,” said Becci Shuman, run coordinator for Riverside Athletic Club. “We need over 100 for that day. Without them we would not be able to pull it off.”
Riverside Athletic Club owner Paul Kienitz said he chose to support Merrill United Way because it has a broad impact on the community, providing funding to 19 different human service organizations.
“Looking at the needs of people in Merrill, we try to help out all we can,” he said. “I looked at where we could have the biggest impact.”
Merrill United Way Director Dee Olsen noted that the affiliated agencies provide assistance with health, education and basic needs. The needs in the Merrill community have increased significantly, she said. The money raised by this year’s Kolor Run will go toward next year’s allocations.