Last year’s Run for Ringgold raised $35,000 to replace athletic and band equipment at Ringgold’s high and mid-dle schools that was lost or damaged in the April tornado. Organizers say they plan to hold the event every year around the storm’s anniversary date of April 27.
Lisa Logan, Ringgold High School track and cross-country coach, and RHS Band Booster secretary Judy King es-tablished Run for Ringgold last year, along with the Chattanooga Cross Country League, and coordinated it as well this year. Logan and King said this year’s benefit run was expanded to help more local schools.
“Our goal is to help the whole community more,” Logan said. “That’s why we opened this up to the other schools. Individual schools always have needs, she said.
Runners had a new route this year, which showcased a great deal of the updated and rebuilt areas damaged in last year’s tornado. At the sound of the “cowbell,” rang by RHS guidance counselor Joel Swoboda, racers took off from the high school parking lot, headed down Tennessee Street and then continued on to Depot, Cotter, Emberson, Guyler, Sparks and High streets before returning to Ringgold High School.
Winners of the races turned the event into a bit of a family affair, when both Jason L. Webb, a local dentist, and his 7-year-old daughter Helen crossed the finish lines first for the two races. Helen ran her first race at age 5 and said although her father inspired her to run, it was fun to “beat him” at the 1 mile. Webb continued to run and came in first for the 5K mark.
Webb ran the Green Bay Marathon in Green Bay, Wis., last year in honor of those affected by the April 27 tor-nado. In an effort to help his community, Webb’s office organized a sponsorship-per-mile campaign to raise funds for the under- and un-insured. In 10 days, patients, family and friends donated $5,734, which Webb Dentistry matched. A total of $11,469 was given to Catoosa Organization Acting in Disaster (COAD).
“Ringgold is such a wonderful place to live,” said Webb. “We’ve been through so much and so many people have given so much to rebuild it. It was great to see all the progress today.”
Logan and King said they are grateful to the Run’s business sponsors, which are mostly area employers. Three major sponsors for Run for Ringgold are Shaw Industries, Walter Jackson Chevrolet and Propex Inc., King said. Other sponsors she listed at press time included Costco, J&S Electric, Patty and Young Attorneys at Law, Coca-Cola, Ingles, Earth Fare and Chattanooga Bakery (maker of the original moon pie), Teter & Company body shop, and Webb Dentistry.