Here come Santa's elves
Everyday Elves, an organization focused on supporting local families in need during the holiday season, will hold the Fourth Annual Elf Stampede 5K and Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday at Spindale United Methodist Church.
This year's race is sponsored by Fitness Solutions of Spindale with proceeds benefiting families in Rutherford and Watauga Counties.
Coach Brandon Gosey and his East Rutherford Cross Country Team will also help with the race and assist in wrapping and delivering gifts to families this Christmas.
Founded in 2009 by Rutherfordton native and Wake Forest University graduate Laura Morse, Everyday Elves got its inspiration from a Wake Forest program called Santa's Helper.
Santa's Helper was established in 1986 and has helped deliver Christmas presents to underprivileged children in the Winston-Salem community.
Each year Wake Forest student-athletes wrap and individually label gifts, dress in Santa suits and surprise families with deliveries.
Similar to Santa's Helper, Everyday Elves operates on the idea that every child deserves a memorable Christmas experience.
Recognizing the importance of involving student-athletes from local high schools in community service and outreach, Everyday Elves recruits area students to join its cause.
During the inaugural Elf Stampede 5K race, more than 100 racers helped raise nearly $2,700.
To date, Everyday Elves has raised more than $15,000 for the purchase of clothes, shoes, jackets, toys and basic necessities for 220 needy children.
Like Santa's Helper, the gifts were personally wrapped and delivered by student-athletes.
In conjunction with the annual Elf Stampede 5K, Everyday Elves will continue the tradition of hosting a fun run down Main Street in Spindale, where onlookers can cheer on participants.
The fun run is open to all ages and will be led by Santa Clause and his elves.
Anyone interested in participating in the 5K or fun run can still register online. The cost is $25 for the 5K and $15 for the fun run.
To register for a race, make a donation or learn more about Everyday Elves, visit www.everydayelves.org.