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Originally published: 2014-05-14 14:46:30
Last modified: 2014-05-14 14:47:14

Hospitality House and Western Youth Network teaming up for May 26 Color Blast 5K run, walk

Hospitality House and the Western Youth Network are teaming up to present  the Memorial Day Color Blast 5K Run/Walk on May 26 to raise funds, awareness and support for families and youth in the community.  

The event will take place on the Boone Greenway Trail at Clawson-Burnley Park, beginning at 5 p.m. 

Preregistration is open until May 21, and a limited number of T-shirts will be presented to early registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. Preregistration costs $25 for adults and $10 for youth 12 and younger. Participants can register online at http://www.HospHouse.org, and registration forms can be found at Earth Fare, the Rock Sports Bar and Grill, Pepper's, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Town Tavern in Blowing Rock and 24/7 Gym at New Market Centre. 

Those who preregister can pick up their packets between 1 and 5 p.m. from May 19 to 21 at the Hospitality House, located at 338 Brook Hollow Road in Boone.

On-site registration, beginning at 4 p.m., and will be $30 for adults and $15 for youth 12 and younger. T-shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Participants can expect a free photo booth with fun props, face painting, music and free samples of frozen yogurt from Menchie's. Water and fruit are being provided by Earth Fare, and local food trucks will also be on hand, so families can eat in the park and not worry about preparing dinner, organizers said. 

"With Watauga County students having to attend school on Memorial Day, we wanted to provide a fun, unique event that parents can bring their kids to and that entire families will enjoy," said Brittany Johnson, AmeriCorps VISTA and project manager for Hospitality House. "We want the community to have a blast and be able to end the now non-holiday weekend in a colorful way."

The Color Blast, sponsored by Town Tavern of Blowing Rock, Bistro Roca and New River Gymnastics Academy, is an event that showers participants in environmentally safe, cornstarch-based colored powder at certain locations along the trail. The main idea is to tie-dye each runner's white event T-shirt by the end of the run. The event welcomes competitive runners, casual runners, joggers, walkers, people with disabilities, families and all those who are willing to give back to their community, organizers said. 

Pets are not allowed. A guide to the Color Blast will be posted at http://www.HospHouse.org and will be included in the pre-registration packets. 

Food donation bins, supporting the Bread of Life Food Programs, will be located at the picnic shelters to collect canned goods, boxed goods and dry goods, such as coffee, sugar and tea. 

Western Youth Network and Hospitality House, organizations that have been serving the High Country for 30 years, are organizing the event together. All proceeds will be divided evenly between the two organizations and will support two different programs. 

Hospitality House serves those living in crisis, poverty and homelessness. With the poverty rate increasing to 29 percent, making Watauga County the third highest in the state, the organization's services are in great need, according to Hospitality House officials. 

The Color Blast 5K funds will kick start the Benefit Boutique project, which is not only an economic resource for the organization, but will also serve as a job skills and financial literacy training program for clients it serves, they said. 

WYN reaches the youth of the High Country by providing afterschool programs, mentoring opportunities, as well as evidence-based programs and practices to reduce and delay the onset of early substance use and abuse. The 5K fundraiser will support WYN's Youth Mentoring Program.

 The program has been successfully operating in Watauga County since 1985 and Avery County since 2002. 

The mentoring program serves youth between the ages of 6 and 17 and encourages students to stay motivated and focused on their education, provides a positive way to spend free time, and assist with daily challenges, program officials said.

For more information, contact Brittany Johnson at (brittany@hosphouse.org) or Faith Motter at (motterf@westernyouthnetwork.org)