EDITORIAL: Run and/or Ride for Our Community
It is fall. The temperatures are cooling down. Football is a Friday-Saturday ritual. It is an active time for Laurens County families.
In all the hustle-bustle, take just a moment to reflect on what you can do to make Laurens County a caring community. One thing you can do has already passed, but there’s always next year. If you are a motorcyclist, or know someone who is, or if you are a law enforcement officer or know someone who is, you’re going to want to consider The Deputy Roger Rice Ride-On Fund, and the annual Deputy Roger Rice Memorial Ride.
The 8th Annual Ride was conducted Sept. 15. The 9th Annual Ride will be in a similar time-frame in 2020. Motorcyclists filed out of Destination Sports onto Hwy 76, between Clinton and Laurens, for this year’s ride through Laurens County. They did so with heavy hearts.
The evening before, on a Laurens city street, two of their own died - April Hughes and Tony Hall, both of Waterloo - at the hands of an alleged drunk driver, Jose Reyes-Cruz, of Laurens. He has been arrested and charged.
The law enforcement officers who investigated and arrested the suspect are just the people The Deputy Roger Rice Memorial Ride targets for help.
The event raised money for the Ride-On Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that actively supports law enforcement, public safety personnel along with their families during a time of need. It helps with medical emergencies, travel expenses, a death in the family, displacement because of fire, and other unforeseen circumstances (info: Roger Rice Sr., 864-399-2654).
This is a home-grown, hometown-help organization.
Similarly home-grown, the 10th Annual 5K Run/Walk - known as Run Like a Mann - is set for Oct. 5. By coincidence, it’s in the Professional Park just a few yards from Destination Sports - runners and walkers are in the park, so there is no exposure to busy roads. This event is sponsored by the Laurens County Cancer Association.
Our friends there tell us that this year (Jan. 1 - July 30, 2019) they have distributed 313 bank cards for fuel assistance, totaling $19,635, to cancer patients who need help getting to and from medical appointments. Cancer drains a person’s energy - to fight it, LCCA distributed 238 cases of nutritional supplements (Ensure/Boost). They gave thousands of household items and personal hygiene items. They provided medical equipment, wigs, blankets and pillows (info: www.hopeincommunity.com)
One of this group’s main fund-raisers is the Oct. 5, 5K run/walk. It is named for Tim Mann, a popular Clinton resident and karate instructor, who died in 2010 of colon cancer. The run is now in its 10th year; the Laurens County Cancer Association is now in its 9th year.
Registration for the run/walk opens at 7:30 a.m., start time is 8. The location is 1337 Medical Ridge Rd., Clinton, in the Professional Park, behind Prisma Health Laurens County Memorial Hospital. If you are a runner or if you can walk, they need you there (registration fees required).
The presenting sponsors are Prisma Health System, Self Regional Healthcare, Lanford Industrial Services, and Resource Electric.
We say “they need you there” because, you see, neither of these fund-raisers gets outside money. The sponsors’ help is much-appreciated, of course, but really these are “you and me” charities. And the people who receive this help would bristle at the word “charity” - they are fighters, not charity-cases, not people to be pitied or looked sideways at because of the hand that life has dealt them.
We WANT to lift them up. And, if we don’t do it, no one else will. So, to you - 8th Annual Deputy Roger Rice Memorial Ride and 10th Annual 5K Run/Walk, Run Like a Mann - we say this. We support you, we thank you and you are a blessing.