ROANOKE, Va – The annual Drumstick Dash in Roanoke does much more than get people up and move before that big Thanksgiving meal.
The event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Roanoke Rescue Mission to help feed those in need.
This year, the event is going entirely virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers are still hoping for many runners so they can continue to help those who need it most in our community.
“We knew we were going to have to make a tough decision when it got to the end of the summer,” said Kevin Berry with the Roanoke Rescue Mission.
On Tuesday, the Roanoke Rescue Mission announced its annual race would be virtual, allowing people to run throughout the month of November. Berry said the demand for services at the Rescue Mission has gone up during the pandemic.
“With this pandemic came the reality that a lot more people are on the verge of falling right into poverty,” Berry said.
Berry is hoping for a high turnout this year, as the race brings in about $300,000 and pays for all the shelter’s dining services throughout the year. He said the high participation rate shows the Roanoke community values helping others.
“The slogan for the race is move your feet so others can eat, and what that really can mean is move your feet so a child can focus in school,” Berry said.
The annual Salem Half Marathon is also going virtually.
“We were really looking forward to this year, we were hoping to hit that 1,000 mark and it was our fifth anniversary,” said Salem Special Event Planner Ashley Durkin.
Organizers hope the flexibility of the annual community traditions will encourage people to get up and moving in the safest option possible.
“We’re still trying to do as much as we can even with it being virtual to make it feel like an in-person race as much as we could,” Durkin said.
For information about the Drumstick Dash, click here.
For information about the Salem Half Marathon click here.