One city — lots of ways to give and play this weekend

Apr. 24, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

This weekend, Lee County residents have a variety of options to enjoy the outdoors while helping area charities, people and organizations.

Great Strides Sanford Walk-A-Thon

Thousands of children are born and grow up with cystic fibrosis, including a handful in Lee County, every year. To help fund research for the genetic disorder that hardens vital organs, Sanford will host its first walk-a-thon Saturday at Kiwanis Family Park, located at 1800 Wicker St.

Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the walk beings at 10 a.m.; a suggested donation of $25 covers lunch after the walk. More than 140 walkers have pre-registered to participate in the event, according to Ashley Quinones, an event organizer who has CF.

Quinones said the group has raised more than $16,000 thus far — and the hope is that people learn more about the disease that impacts eight families in Lee County. 

In Quinones’s online testimony, she said she is helping because she wants to help find a cure. She received a double-lung transplant and must take medicine before she eats because cystic fibrosis keeps her digestive system from being able to function properly.

“Although I know the transplant saved my life, I think that says a lot about this disease,” she wrote in her testimony.  “It is never a good sign when your best option of survival is to have your organs replaced. I hate that children are still suffering. When I say I feel their pain, I’m not being empathetic. I honestly know that pain, and I want it to end. I don’t want mothers to sit at their dinner table crying because their child is in pain and they can’t take it away. I want a cure.”

More information about the walk is available by emailing greatstridessanford@gmail.com.

International Wine Tasting and Art Walk for the Temple Theatre

More than a dozen downtown Sanford businesses are opening their doors to art, theater and wine enthusiasts during the Temple Theatre’s Sixth Annual International Wine Tasting and Art Walk Saturday afternoon. 

Temple Marketing and Development Director Chris deLambert said Raleigh-based band Q and The Kings are scheduled to play at the corner of Carthage and Steele streets while residents begin their tour of downtown shops, featuring local artwork, before attending a live auction at The Art Studio at 7 p.m.

The quality of artwork and wine selection continues to improve each year, according to the Temple’s Producing Artistic Director Peggy Taphorn. It’s a wonderful gathering, she said, that brings the community together. 

“I started this six years ago as an event for downtown so people could come out and go to the shops and see what it has to offer,” Taphorn said. “It brings those of us who live, work and breathe in downtown together.”

Tickets are $30 in advance, available at the Temple box office, and $35 at the door. The event is from 4-7 p.m. and will begin at the Temple Theatre, located at 120 Carthage St.  

Fitness Fest and Family Fun Day

Organizers of the Fitness Fest and Family Fun Day encourage residents to rush — or perhaps pedal — to downtown Sunday to participate in a yearly event focused on physical activity.

The festival, scheduled for all day Sunday in downtown Sanford, will feature a 5K run or walk and 10K run, both beginning at 8:15 a.m., the Brick City Criterium bike race beginning at 9 a.m., a Kid Fun Run at 9:45 a.m., a Crossfit competition at 11 a.m., a downtown business scavenger hunt at 1 p.m. and a kids’ bike race at 1:15, among other activities.

Shannon Gurwitch, one of the festival’s organizers, said the day will also include vendors, raffles and activities for children.

“The idea of the Fitness Fest is for people in the community to become and learn about being physically fit,” she said.

Dr. Parker McConville, the festival’s founder, said he’s expecting more than 40 vendors and said there will be a lot of reasons to visit the downtown area Sunday.

“You’ll find something to do and enjoy regardless of what your interests are,” he said. “You don’t have to be a runner or cyclists.”

Downtown Sanford Inc. Executive Director David Montgomery said he expects hundreds of racers and bikers will fill the streets in downtown.

“We are looking forward to the annual fitness fest,” he said. “It expands every year and continues to grow.”

More information, including registration information, can be found at www.sanfordfitnessfest.com