The third annual Jump for Joel Marathon was held Saturday in St. Elmo. Fifty-seven participants either ran, walked or biked the 26.2-mile route – raising $4,261.22. A spaghetti dinner the night before at St. Elmo Christian Church brought in an additional $1,585.
All of the proceeds from the two events – $5,846.22 – will go toward food expenses at the Gathiga Children’s Hope Home, an orphanage of 110 children in the village of Gathiga, Kenya.
The participants that raised the most money through sponsorship were Roger Hill from Vandalia, with $1,165, and Megan Koss from St. Elmo, with $170.
Many volunteers helped make the event a success, said organizer Lindsay Lash. The organizations that had water stations at the event were: Zion Hill Baptist Church, Altamont Christian Church, St. Elmo Cub Scouts, St. Elmo Lions Club, St. Elmo First Church of God, Brownstown First Baptist Church and the Berg family. These groups brought their own water and drinks, and cheered as the runners, bikers and walkers passed by.
Tom DePaolo, John Hall and Spencer Patton supervised the course on four-wheelers, nurse Julie DePaolo was on hand to provide medical assistance and the St. Elmo Police Department was present at the race to oversee traffic safety.
Other companies contributing to the marathon included: County Market from Vandalia (water); St. Elmo Casey’s (donuts); McDonald's in Vandalia (orange drink); Pinnacle Foods in St. Elmo (for allowing participants to start and finish the race in their parking lot); The Leader-Union in Vandalia, The St. Elmo Banner in Altamont, The Devonian in St. Elmo and WKRV in Vandalia (for publicity); and Bev Crawford, Zach Crawford, Shana Stine and Family Video (for donating items for the silent auction).
The St. Elmo Christian Church Praise Band provided music at the spaghetti dinner. Other groups contributing to the event were: the St. Elmo Ministerial Alliance, the Rev. Tom Fedrigon and members of St. Elmo Christian Church (helping at the spaghetti dinner) and the St. Elmo Lions Club (volunteers and donations).
“Jump for Joel continues to grow because of the continued support and dedication of volunteers and participants,” said Lash.