Fall is in the air. Bands play merrily as families of runners stretch, each generation clad in sweatshirts, tennis shoes, and the occasional turkey costume. Thanks to Wheeler Mission, the annual “Drumstick Dash” race is kicking off once again in November.
Each year, the Wheeler Mission group organizes a race for their charity foundation, coordinating events and gathering excited runners. The 17th annual Drumstick Dash will kick off once again on Nov. 28.
“I founded the race 16 years ago when Wheeler was looking for a signature event to highlight the needs of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness and also to raise critical funds,” Mr. Steve Kerr, Executive VP of Advancement, said.
The cost is $39 until Nov. 26, but runners can still pay on Nov. 27th when they pick up their information or register online. The cost is $45 dollars, but groups of six or more receive a $5 discount per entry. Every penny goes to a good cause.
“Wheeler has always been the sole owner with 100 per cent of the proceeds staying with Wheeler right here in Central Indiana,” Mr. Kerr said.
The race itself is a 4.6 mile wind through Broad Ripple. Family and groups are encouraged to run together, often in costume. The event has established itself as a popular family tradition.
“It something that we really look forward to,” Mrs. Libby Cruzan, nurse said. “I have one son, and I hope that’s something he’ll continue to do.”
The community rallies around the race and their runners, encouraging them with signs and music.
“The residents come out and cheer you on,” Mrs. Cruzan said. “They’ll have bonfires in their front yards, people have scenes set up, there’ll be a guitarist set up playing music.”
The run itself is not the only event of the day. Each year a pre-race concert is held by top local bands. The concert this year is by Maddie and the Roadies.
The event grows each year, gaining state-wide support.
“In 2003, we had 1,306 people register for the inaugural event. Last year that number was nearly 20,000. That’s a 1,814 per cent increase in 16 years,” Mr. Kerr said.
With community events, concerts, and fun with family, it is a wonderful race with a worthy cause. Students interested can register online at Drumstick Dash.org.
“It’s such an emotional event for such a good cause,” Mrs. Cruzan said.