ALBANY, Ga. -- A service that has been offering counseling and education services to moms-to-be for more than 20 years has a big fundraiser coming up.
The Legacy Run for Life will be held March 17 at Legacy Park at the intersection of Old Pretoria Road and Leary Road to benefit the Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center.
The running events will start with a 5K race at 9:15 a.m., a one-mile run/walk at 10 a.m. and a 50-yard toddler trot at 10:30 a.m.
"We created the event to create awareness for the pregnancy center," said Mike Johnston, executive director of the Sherwood Foundation. "It's been here for more than 20 years and has grown to the point where we've moved into a new center."
Johnston added that the program's prenatal care piece has been run with the help of area physicians, and a sonogram machine donated by the Knights of Columbus in 2010.
The sonogram machine, which has been hooked up to a 46-inch monitor, has played a big part in the program.
"When moms see (their babies) it opens their hearts," Johnston said.
Before beginning the race last year, the center saw roughly 100 cases a year. Now the volume is up to 400-500 cases a year, Johnston said.
The Legacy Run, which had 700-800 participants last year, will have entertainment, including a bouncy house and popcorn machine.
All of the proceeds will benefit the pregnancy center, which has been in operation since 1991. The 5K course is Road Runners Club of America certified. The event is also a Peachtree Road Race qualifier, and has been classified as a Run and See Georgia Grand Prix event.
"There will be serious runners there that will run for points," Johnston said.
The goal for the event, at least from a monetary standpoint, is $25,000. Over time, officials are hopeful that the event -- as well as the center itself -- will continue to grow.
"Like any of Sherwood's events, this one started out small," Johnston said. "We believe it will grow every year, and hope it will gain legitimacy.
"It will be at the same time every year, and we will continue to increase activities for kids."
To register, go to www.sherwoodbaptistchurch.net and follow the links to www.active.com and search for Legacy Run for Life 5K, or go directly to active.com.
Online registration closes March 15. Registrations can also be taken directly to Sherwood Baptist Church 6 p.m.-8 p.m. March 16.
Registration is also taking place at Legacy Park the day of the race until 8:45 a.m. Prior to Monday, registration is $20, or $30 thereafter for both 5K and one-mile run/walk. The toddler trot registration is $15 anytime, which includes a medal and a T-shirt.
Participants in the 5K and one-mile runners who register after Monday are not guaranteed a T-shirt.
For the 5K, awards will be given in first, second and third place in overall male and female. Top males and females in their age groups will receive an award as well.
"We will see what happens this year. We would like to make it a unique event," said Johnston. "It will be a family, fun-filled morning.
"We promote this as an event that saves lives. Our goal is to get people on the property and give fellowship.
"It changes lives on a lot of different levels."
For further information, contact Johnston at mikejsherwoodbaptist.net or (229) 883-1910, ext. 1353.