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Run for Sunrise will help park

10/20/2012

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

The Sunrise Rotary Club in Hays is in just its third year of existence. But already, the group of nearly 30 members is in Phase 2 of its main project -- the improvement of Ekey Park -- using money from fundraisers throughout the year.

One of those fundraisers is set for this weekend, the second annual "Run for Ekey Park" 5K run/walk Saturday afternoon that will begin and end at the park at 13th and Holmes Road.

Adding to the fun will be a costume contest for the best dressed male, female and team.

Sunrise Rotary, which meets at 7 a.m. every Thursday, has completed Phase 1 of its Ekey Park project that included planting several trees, flowers and bushes, erecting a new park sign and installing an ADA-approved drinking fountain and two park benches.

Work on Phase 2 is under way and will include the construction of a shelter house for shade and picnic tables.

The club is on schedule for implementing its five-year improvement plan for Ekey Park, thanks to grants while partnering with the city of Hays and its parks department, as well as its two main fundraisers. In addition to the 5K, Sunrise also provides breakfast and lunch at the annual Hays Fly-In in June.

"We needed a signature event to put on every year, and someone came up with a 5K," said Mark St. Peter, chairman of service projects for the Sunrise club. "Last year was our first (race), and it went really well, had almost 50 participants."

Other improvements planned for the park during the next several years are restrooms, new playground equipment and a splash park.

Those interested in participating in Saturday's 5K run/walk can register online at www.hayssunriserotary.com or by calling St. Peter at (785) 628-3441 or Shawn Clark, co-chairman of the 5K event along with St. Peter, at (785) 639-0679.

The $15 registration fee for individuals includes a T-shirt. There also will be a team division (where the top three finishers on each team will determine the team score); registration for team members is $12 per runner.

Check-in for Saturday's race will be at 4:30 p.m., with race time at 5:30.

Following the race, there will be a freewill offering hot dog feed.