Not many fourth-graders can say they’re ready to run a 5K race. Fewer still will say they’re doing it to raise money for charity.
However, Tate Hinger, entering the fourth grade when school starts Aug. 31, is no stranger to running for charity. Last year, the half-pint harrier participated in the River Run for Orphans, an annual event organized to raise money for various organizations dedicated to supporting services for orphaned children.
“My goal is to raise more than I did last year,” Hinger said.
Last year, Hinger raised close to $800, making him the second top fund-raiser for the event. Hinger stated that second is not good enough, though, for either the race but mostly in fund-raising. “I hope to be the top fund-raiser, this year,” he said.
The race, held in Durango’s Santa Rita Park on Saturday, Aug. 29, will again benefit various charities supporting children. Money raised from sponsors who pledge dollar amounts to back Tate will go to Christian Adoption Resources and Encouragement (CARE), a charity located in Pagosa Springs.
“Everyone who runs gets to pick a charity and Tate picked a local one,” said Tate’s mom, Anita. “The charity assists people in getting adoptions ... healthier adoptions.”
Anita referred to the charity’s commitment to helping adoptees go through legal channels to secure adoptions, eschewing the practices (often times illegal and unsafe) of more unscrupulous agencies.
Anita was clearly proud of her son and his determination. “He decided to kick it up a notch and run more,” she said.
According to race coordinator Gerry Geraghty, Tate made an impression on last year’s participants. “It’s amazing that he raised so much money,” Geraghty said. “That was a real high point of the event.”
Just in its second year, the River Run for Orphans has found a home in other towns and Geraghty said, “We’re hoping to eventually make this a nationwide event.”
Geraghty stated that people interested in running in the race can register by contacting the River Church in Durango at 247-7777, but can also register the day of the race. Registration starts at about 8:30 a.m., Geraghty said, with a children’s 1-mile race beginning at 10 a.m. and the adult race starting after the children finish their race.
The entry fee for the race is $10.
People interested in making pledges for Tate’s run can call Anita at 264-5802 for details. Anita also said that she has paperwork available for runners interested in entering the race.
Although his eye is on being this year’s biggest fund-raiser, Tate was clear about his motives for taking a stab at a big 5K race: “Because I care for the kids I’m running for.”