Cristo Rey 5K raises money for food, health programs

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Cristo Rey Community Center hosted its 8th annual Run for Giving 5K Run/Walk on Oct. 10 at the Lansing River Trail.

The event raised money for nonprofit center’s food, health and counseling programs, Development Associate Andrea Cota Avila said. The community center is located at 1717 N High St. in Lansing.

This year there were 139 in-person and virtual runners and increased their sponsorship to $15,600 and $2,500 from runners.

“I invest my time in this event because it’s more than just a fundraiser,” Cota Avila said via email. “This is a way for the community to come together during these difficult times. I’ve been planning events for a long time, and I find it really rewarding organizing a 5K for Cristo Rey, because it’s a wonderful organization.”

The race involves running or walking 6.2 miles, Cota Avila said. Cristo Rey CEO Joseph Garcia leads the race of runners by bicycle and said seeing their faces at the end is “pretty powerful.” 

“Even without any communication with that walker or that runner, the eye contact — there’s a lot of support there, a lot of empathy, a lot of pride going back and forth and you get to share it with that runner,” Garcia said. “We don’t know what people’s lives are all about, but every runner that crosses that finish line has a story. The self accomplishment, that feeling, it is alive and well at a finish line.”

Last year’s race included 170 runners and they made about $4,000 in sponsorships and around $2,000 in runners, Cota Avila said. 

“People not only feel accomplished and proud that they’re working towards their health, but they’re also happy to support an organization like Cristo Rey,” Cota Avila said. “We have long-time supporters of Cristo Rey coming to the race as well as people who have never heard of the organization.”

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