Meridian, Miss. If you were to ask runners their reason for racing, you would get responses that vary, but early Saturday morning runners came together united for one cause. That cause being education and the future of those students at one local school district. The run known as Race for the Future is the 1st annual 5K run 2 mile walk and race organizer Deidre Bland says it's for a special cause.
"The purpose of the run is to raise funds for the Dropout Prevention Program, also to create awareness between the district and the community," stated Bland. "It's where we are going to all come together and create a partnership, so that we can support all of our students, to ensure that every child in the Meridian Public School District is successful."
Bland says the graduation rate within the district is 62.5 percent and the goal is to use the funds raised during the run to provide incentives, motivational speakers, and programs. Each geared towards the success of students and the community was there to support the cause.
"With all the crime and all the things we have going on in Meridian, I think it's important for us to continue to keep children in school and work to reduce the dropout rate," Divas on the Run Felecia Brown said. "By reducing the drop out rate, we can hopefully reduce the crime rate."
Runners and walkers were welcomed at the finish line by hundreds of supporters cheering them on. One runner and employee of the MPSD says usually he runs for the benefits, but today he ran for the future of students.
"Usually when I run it's for myself to maintain so on and so forth," marathon runner Tom Kuriakose said. "To see the community come out and actually have something to compete for, that was really special, it made this competition special for me."
A competition that many supporters hope will carry on into the classroom.
In all, 237 runners supported the cause to raise money for the Meridian Public School District's Dropout Prevention Program.