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Lifting LaGrange 5K-plus raises money for families in need

Healing Hearts, a newly-formed organization, hosted a 5K-plus on Saturday to raise money for a few local families in need. 

Event Organizer Satomi Morgan said the event, called Lifting LaGrange, raised about $800, and that she wanted to help three to four families she knew of that were struggling with medical payments.

“Especially with this time right now, we had a few people in mind … they’re struggling with cancer and heart issues right now, and COVID,” Morgan said. 

Morgan and her fellow organizer Buffy Mann, who works as a personal trainer and aerobics teacher at Slay Fit Training, wanted to do an outdoor event where people felt safe. They decided on a 5K-plus, revolving around the theme of 8, and its similarity to the infinity sign. The event started at 8 a.m. on Aug. 8 (8/8). Morgan also said the number 8 represents new beginnings and regeneration. 

“Whether it be medical issues … anything that somebody may be going through, we just prayed about it,” Mann said.

A 5K-plus involves running the typical 3.1 miles, stopping for extra exercises along the way. The race started and ended at Hollis Hand Elementary School, with stops after the first and second mile. At the first mile, participants did 88 burpees, 88 push-ups and 88 squats, while at the second mile, they did 88 sit ups, 88 mountain climbers and 88 jumping jacks.

Participants did not run all together, instead leaving in waves at different times to minimize exposure. 

They could choose to have their race timed and be entered in a competition but also had the option to run/walk at their own, untimed pace and modify the workouts as they saw fit. 

The entry fee was $20 per person, though the organization also accepted donations from non-participants. Winners received prizes such as medals, gift cards and protein supplements donated by local businesses. 

Morgan wanted to thank everyone who came out to the event, supported it and donated. 

“We had such a great time and can’t wait to see how this little bit changes a whole lot,” Morgan said. “We’re not done yet, so be on the lookout for the next challenge.”