Color Me Fun Run/Walk 5K

PARKERSBURG – The first Color Me Fun 5K Run/Walk of Parkersburg on Thursday evening was a success, with approximately 700 people racing through downtown for charity.

“We are very pleased with the turnout,” said race coordinator Stephanie Sams. “We thought this would be a fun way to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network a West Virginia University Hospital, but we didn’t think so many people would come.”

Runners and walkers gathered in front of the floodwall at Point Park in white T-shirts and began to toss colored powder from plastic baggies while volunteers on the sidewalks covered them with more of the colors from buckets throughout the race, which ended at Bicentennial Park.

“These races take place all over the country, but this is the first in our area and we are very glad people came out,” said Mike Tucker, president and CEO of the West Virginia Central Credit Union.

The race was organized by the credit union as something different to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network at WVU Hospital, its chosen charity.

“Last year we raised about $11,000 with the sale of raffle tickets for an all-terrain utility vehicle, but we far surpassed that this year,” Tucker said. “It is exciting.”

The event raised about $15,900 through the $20 advance and $25 day-of participation fee, he said.

“We are surprised with so many people,” Tucker said. “We had about 200 tell us they were planning to be here but there was a huge surge of people (signing) up right before we started, which is great.”

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell watched the race open at Point Park and said he was pleased for the city to host it.

“We at the city are excited because none of us have ever seen something like this,” Newell said. “We are proud to have it here and anything new and exciting, we are fine with.”

Both Tucker and Sams said the tremendous support from this first race has told them the credit union needs to make it an annual event.

“We had planned to do it again next year, but now I think we have to,” Tucker said. “It seems to have the support of the community to become an annual event.”