More than 50 runners, walkers and some infants in strollers participated in the first 5k Run/Family Walk for Holy Family Catholic Church on Saturday.
Proceeds from the race will help 10 teen pilgrims go to Brazil when Pope Francis attends World Youth Day in July.
Organizer Rocio Rivas said the race raised $1,500, $500 more than expected. Some people have asked the church to sponsor another run next year.
Rivas’ husband, who participated in previous runs, gave her the idea to sponsor the 5k, a first for her and the church.
Traveling to World Youth Day was the idea of Director of Youth Ministries Meghan James, who started working with the church a little more than a year ago. A self-described “cradle Catholic,” James estimated 8 million youth will gather for World Youth Day in Brazil.
Because the pope is from neighboring Argentina, the crowd could grow to as many as 10 million, James said.
Katherine Myers, 16, Sara Myers, 17, and Emily Myers, 14, will take the trip to Brazil with their mom, Kristina.
“It was so unexpected to see the new pope, but it makes the trip all the more exciting. A little scary, but it will be so good in strengthening our faith,” Katherine Myers said.
Kristina Myers said she is proud that her daughters wanted to take the trip.
“They are excited, a little scared, and I am going to be there with them.”
Nick Collins, 29, participated in the 5k run for the community involvement and exercise and to “encourage the kids.” He also attended other fundraisers at Pizza Hut and Schlotzsky’s.
“They have all those events where we eat, and then we have this one so we can run off all of those calories,” he said.