Photo: Several of the walkers who turned out for the Take Back Our County: Hope for Highland 5K Glow for Change on Saturday night are pictured at the start of a one-mile walk in uptown Hillsboro.
By Jeff Gilliland – firstname.lastname@example.org
About 230 walkers and runners took part, and there were more than 30 booths set up, Saturday evening for the inaugural Take Back Our County: Hope for Highland 5K Glow for Change in uptown Hillsboro.
“We were really impressed with all the people that came out,” said Hannah Allard, the event coordinator. “I talked to someone who said they were counting how many people were there – I’m not sure how they did it – but they said there were at least 500 people there. And it wasn’t just Hillsboro people. There were people from all over the county and I think that shows you how people in our community rally behind each other, because they want to see their brothers and sisters get better.”
The goal of the event was to help raise the $15,000 needed to bring Hope Over Heroin to Highland County. Allard said Monday that she was still counting money from all the booths, but she believes Take Back Our County is getting close to raising the money it needs. The event was also designed to raise awareness and educate community members about street and prescription drug use/misuse and abuse in the area.
Hope Over Heroin is a collaborative ministry led by pastors in Ohio and Kentucky who came together “to connect the body of Christ” in order to break the chains of the addicted, its website says. More information can be found at hopeoverheroin.com.
Saturday’s event started at 6 p.m. on the Highland County Courthouse Square with free music, food, bounce houses, games, face painting and more. There was a diaper crawl at 7 p.m., a one-mile walk through the uptown Hillsboro area at 8 p.m. and the 5K Glow Run/Walk at 9 p.m.
There were 125 people who registered for the walk and 105 to 110 people who registered for the run, Allard said.
Allard said that while the Glow Run was designed to raise money to bring Hope Over Heroin to Hillsboro, the event organizers will likely do it again around the same time next year.
“I think everyone enjoyed the street fair dynamic,” Allard said. “I think it’s something we’d like to do again and maybe raise money for other organizations in the community. Who knows, maybe one day we won’t have all these problems and we can just come out for the fun of it.”
Allard said Take Back Our County is planning a “girls night” event sometime before Christmas, but details haven’t been worked out yet.
“I’d like to thank the community for coming out and supporting us,” Allard said. “It was awesome to see so many people come out and show they support what we’re trying to do. I definitely think that the more positive things we can have for the kids in our community to do, the less opportunity they have to get involved in negative behavior.”
Take Back Our County meets most Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. Allard said the meetings are open to anyone and that the group tries to meet in different locations around the county because it wants the entire county involved. Meeting notices are posted on the Take Back Our County Facebook page.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.