JINGLE ALL THE WAY - A record number of runners and walkers faced frigid conditions at this year's Jingle Bell Run and Walk at Rend Lake College. The annual event calls upon supporters to exercise and raise funding for arthritis research. CLICK HERE for a larger image.
INA, Ill. - Southern Illinois residents turned out in record numbers despite the cold temperatures at this year's Jingle Bell 5K Run and Walk for the Arthritis Foundation.
More than 250 people participated in the Jingle Bell 5K Run and Walk, Dec. 13, on the Rend Lake College campus. Runners and walkers had the chance to enjoy the fast course winding through Rend Lake College.Some participants wore costumes and brought along jingle bells, while all runners and walkers received free goodie bags, t-shirts and food served by Rend Lake College Culinary Arts Club under the guidance of Chef Instructor Brian Kalata.
"It was such a wonderful turnout," said Laura Johnston, Race Director and Arthritis Foundation volunteer. "In spite of the frigid morning temperatures, there were record numbers of runners and walkers."
The event was supported by WSIL-TV 3, St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital,
Southern Illinois Orthopaedic Center, Continental Tire North America, Southern Illinois Rheumatology, Health Alliance, WQRL radio and State Bank of Whittington. Rend Lake College student- athletes volunteered a bit of their weekend by helping to assist walkers and runners along the course.
Organizers say the money generated by this year's Jingle Bell event will go to support Arthritis Foundation research and programs.
"It keeps the money flowing into research and new medications for arthritis," Johnston said. "According to the Arthritis Foundation, 46 million adults and nearly 300,000 children are living with arthritis. Arthritis costs the U.S. government $128 billion annually."