You don't have to be a runner to do a 5k.

In fact, if you aren't a runner, you only have to do 0.5k. In other words, instead of doing 3.1 miles, you only have to 1/3 of a mile.

Foster Alumni Mentors is holding its annual fundraising event on September 26 - and this year it's for runners and non-runners alike. Last year's event was a 0.5k  event on the Riverfront Trail with a post-race party at Edgewater Brewery. The event catered to those who don't really enjoy running, and one of the attractions along the way was donuts.

Unfortunately, there will be no donuts this year, there will be no group gathering, and there's no post-race party. As you might expect, this year's event will be held virtually. That means participants will run individually or with their own little group on the course of their choosing. This year, a 5K option was added to accommodate those who do like to run. Those participating can set up individual or team fundraising pages and compete for prizes in categories like most creative race bib, biggest team, most funds raised, and most interesting pre-race stretch routine. The idea is to have fun and be creative.

I understand this type of "race" isn't nearly as much fun as getting together with a large group of people. But, the important thing to keep in mind is why we are running or walking. In this case, we're running to support Foster Alumni Mentors.

FAM is in its third year here in the Grand Valley, helping young people transition from foster homes to adulthood. Have you ever wondered what it's like for foster kids to move on from their foster homes?  That period of time is critical for these young people as they begin a new chapter in their lives. FAM helps them make that transition smoothly and successfully.

More than 23,000 youth age out of foster care each year. Of those, on average, 20% will experience homelessness, 70% of the females become pregnant before age 21, and less than 3% will attend college and graduate with a 4-year degree.

For this event, if doesn't matter if you are a runner or not. You can get involved and support the cause and help FAM make a difference in the lives of some Grand Valley young people. The cost to register is just $15. For a donation of $25, you can get a t-shirt commemorating the event. Sign up online, and for all of your social media posts displaying your efforts, use the hashtag #fampoint5k.

I encourage you to show your support for this year's FAMpoint5K, and hopefully, next year's event will be a traditional 5k and .05k event and we'll see you there.

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