The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 29, 2013

MCO 5K draws more runners, raises more money


TARBORO — As Easter festivities end, an annual springtime event is on the horizon, as the Movin’ for Community Outreach 5K is set for April 6.

“Whether you’re looking for fundraising, fellowship or fitness, the Movin’ for Community Outreach 5K race encompasses all three,” said Kelly Parker, a member of the mission committee at Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, race coordinator.

More than 200 runners participated in last year’s race, which raised more than $12,000 for Tarboro Community Outreach (TCO), a non-profit organization that provides food, shelter and clothing to the needy.

“It’s been very successful. It raises awareness and funds that are greatly needed at the TCO shelter,” Parker said. “It’s great exposure for Tarboro’s historic district. There are a lot of people from out of town that do come to run the race.”

“It really is a healthy activity for the community and people outside the community and it’s also a form of a fundraiser for our programs,” said Sister Mary Ann Czaja, director of TCO. She said the race supplements the center’s food pantry and soup kitchen, which serves between 200 and 400 people daily for lunch and dinner, and spreads awareness of TCO.

“We’re vibrant and we’re part of Edgecombe County,” Czaja said.

People of all ages run the race. A one-fourth mile Kids’ Fun Run begins at 9:40 a.m., just prior to the 5K, which begins at 10. All events will begin in the area of Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church, at 303 E. Saint James St. Runners will make their way through the flat terrain of Tarboro’s scenic downtown.

There is no fee for the Kids’ Fun Run, but children must register. The registration fee for the 5K is $25.

Community support contributes to the success of the annual event, from corporate sponsorships to Butch Cannon’s motivational music on the sidelines, Bill Goode’s photography of the race, and the East Carolina Road Racers’ timekeeping and scoring.

“The Tarboro Police Department is a huge help,” Parker said. “They’re the lead car head it off and they have a car at the end to make sure everybody finishes safely.”

Kevin Shaffer, an avid runner, is the founder of the 5K. After moving to Virginia, Shaffer returned to his hometown to start the fundraising event to benefit the community.

People can still register for the race by printing off the registration form from the website ( HYPERLINK "" and bringing it by Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church or going by the church and picking up the registration form. Call the church in advance at 252-823-4138.

Runners pre-registered for the race can pick up their registration packets and T-shirts at the church between 5 and 7:30 p.m. April 5 or between 8:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. April 6, just prior to the race. Same-day registration is also available at that time.