For years, Toby Dogwiler and his wife, Katie, have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity projects, and their dedication hasn’t change since the Minnesota transplants recently moved to the Ozarks.
So competing Saturday morning in the Habitat Home Run & Springfield’s Largest Water Balloon Fight was only natural.
“We moved to Springfield last summer, and we’ve always been fans of Habitat for Humanity, and it’s important to us,” Dogwiler said.
Dogwiler was among 250 participants in the eighth annual event that is part of the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, a PGA Web.com Tour tournament that has gifted almost $13 million for Ozarks children’s charities in its 26-year history.
Dogwiler won the 5K in 19:10.19, while Ali Rich was the top finisher among the women in the 5K with a personal-best time of 25:23.27. In the 10K, Brian Todd won in 41:07.1, and Trina Wilcox was the top female finisher in the 10K with time of 48:16.70. Johnny Keter and Danita Regehr won the 1-mile walk/run.
Still, the event was far more than just about running. It was also about raising additional dollars for charities and throwing water balloons – a ton of water balloons.
In fact, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Springfield, MO, Larry Peterson, was right in the middle of all the action on a day when the event managed to roll out far more water balloons than last year.
Some proceeds will assist Habitat for Humanity Springfield, MO.
Habitat for Humanity Springfield, MO expects to complete almost 160 projects by the end of next June. That figure will exceed last year’s mark by 30 projects.
“Our mission is to bring people together in God’s name for homes, community and hope,” Peterson said. “What we’re doing now is trying to expand in neighborhood revitalization, which is not just building homes but it’s repairing and preserving homes.
“We have a tremendous amount of people in town who either can’t do the work themselves or can’t afford it, or are disabled and so on. They can apply for the program just like the home-buyer program. We don’t just give away homes. We have a zero-interest mortgage, and they have to put in an X number of hours sweat equity.”
The ability to assist the charity is what brought out many of the runners and water-balloon throwers. The event was also supported by a number of sponsors, including Gailey’s Breakfast Café and Great American Title Company.
“I think Habitat for Humanity is a great cause,” Rich said. “We wanted to be out here supporting it and the Price Cutter Charity Championship.”
Said Todd, who won the 10K, “Habitat is a great community asset, and my family is very supportive. We have donated and volunteered several times over the past 10 years or so. I enjoy coming out to these summertime 5Ks and 10ks to get ready for longer races in the fall.”
Organizers of the event were impressed by the turnout after setting up on site beginning before 4 a.m. The water balloon fight especially was a hit, given it was added to the event only a year ago.
“The water balloon fight was incredible,” said Kari Crawford, Marketing Director for the PCCC. “I loved seeing the kids smile and play.”
For a picture gallery, see our Facebook page at Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.