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Even before the registration forms were distributed or letters sent to potential sponsors, participants and sponsors are already signing up for the Ava Lions Walk/Run on Saturday, May 14.
Last year, packets were prepared for the first 200 runners to sign up. There was an overwhelming response to this community event and over 350 people signed up to participate in the first annual event.
This year, the Lions are preparing 500 runners’ packets.
The packets will include a T-shirt and other prizes and coupons worth an estimated $450. Each participant will also receive a ticket for a drawing that is open only to the participants. Those prizes will include everything from ball caps to T-shirts and from dinner for two and a restaurant in Ava, Springfield or Branson. The prizes also include tickets to Branson shows, Silver Dollar City.
The event this year will have a few changes including additional age categories. The categories will be for males and females of each age group.
The first category will be for Age 15 and below. Then 16 to 20: 21-25; 26-30 and continue to age 60. There will also be a senior category for everyone 61 years and older.
There is one additional category this year. Individuals who want to bring their dog and run or walk with it on a lease are invited to sign up. The Lions have already received commitments of approximately 12 dog walkers to participate in this community event.
Although there is a 10K event, only the first place male and female finishers will receive a trophy, regardless of age. The traveling trophy for both the individual and team will still be presented to the school that has the first three participants to complete the event. Those trophies will be given to both the male and female winners. That school then gets to display the trophy until the next year’s event.
Businesses that have already signed up to sponsor this event include Ava Drug, McDonalds, Pro-Design Printing, Sonshine Café, L and D Trophy and Engraving, Kim Hathcock Circuit Clerk, Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Curtis Department Stores, Ava Beverage and Cooper Lumber Company.
The Lions are anticipating 60-65 sponsors for this event.
Registration fee for this event is $10 plus at least one canned good. The canned goods will be donated to Heart of the Hills Food Pantry. Registration forms may be picked up at any of the event sponsors.
The Ava Lions are inviting everyone to participate. Larry Morrison, Lions president, says “Let’s make this a great community event. What a way to invite the spring and warmer weather, than to get out, walk, visit with your friends, get a packet worth several hundred dollars.”
He went on to say that all monies raised by the Lions stays right here in the Ava community to help buy glasses, provide clothing for the Bear Closet at the Elementary School as well as many other events sponsored by the Lions.