Third Annual Miles for MIRA Set for Saturday
The third annual Miles for MIRA FunRun Walk and Dog Costume Competition will take place Saturday morning.
This year's event has two new components: the addition of family fun activities and a new location.
"Thanks to many wonderful people at Sandhills Community College, especially the key organizers, Lauren Beecher, Shelby Basinger and Rick Oeflke, the event is being held on the athletic fields of the college behind the Dempsey Center," says Beth Daniels, executive director of MIRA.
The certified 5K course will wind its way around Southern Pines Reservoir Park
Daniels is excited about the new developments.
"We have grown every year that we have held Miles for MIRA, and we were very fortunate to be in downtown Southern Pines for the first two years," she says. "When we decided we wanted to expand the activities to appeal to a wider range of people, we approached SCC as they had hosted a very successful run for us this past spring, and they graciously offered to organize the event, as well as to provide the venue and a number of volunteers. This is a true gift to our small office staff."
Thanks to SCC's involvement, MIRA also looks forward to hosting a small classic car show, bluegrass band, face painter, strolling magician and balloon sculptor. Panera Bread will offer complimentary coffee and Danishes to the early morning participants, while Outback Restaurant has agreed to provide a light lunch for attendees. One of the highlights of the morning will be the opportunity for the public to meet four students with their MIRA guide dogs as they accompany Bob Baillie, MIRA's founder, and his dog, Devon.
Attendees are asked to observe proper guide dog protocol by respecting the dogs' working status, which requires that they not be spoken to or touched while in harness and without the express permission from their owners.
Race awards will be given to fastest male and female over age 16 and 16 and under. A car at the auto show will be designated "Best in Show," and the two top dogs in the costume competition, "Best Large Dog Costume" and "Best Small Dog Costume," will receive a gift from our local PetSmart. Two friends of MIRA, Dr. Beth Lyerley and Peggy Baldwin, have agreed to judge the dog costume competition.
Those wishing to run or walk the course for MIRA may sign up Friday between 8 a.m. and noon in the Dempsey Center at SCC, or on race day beginning at 7:30 a.m.; participants are encouraged to preregister either at the college, online at www. active.com or by downloading an entry form from the homepage of the MIRA website at www.mirausa.org. SCC also encourages runners to bring their completed entry and fee to pick up their packets between 8 a.m. and noon or 5 to 7 p.m. Friday on campus in the Dempsey Center. Race begins promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, with all other activities taking place between 8:30 a.m. and noon.
MIRA Foundation USA, a national nonprofit organization based in Aberdeen, is the only organization in the United States providing guide dogs to blind youth between the ages of 11 and 17. This past summer, MIRA paired six students with MIRA guide dogs, including two from Moore County.
For more information, call MIRA at (910) 944-7757.
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