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9th Annual Spooky Duke Race Returns To Benefit Local Parent-to-Parent Organization October 26

By Sherrie Norris

Anytime is a good time to support local nonprofit organizations — and especially the families they serve.

As it does every year, the upcoming annual Spooky Duke Race and Costume March will prove that to be true very soon.

Back for another successful fundraiser for the Parent to Parent Family Support Network, The Spooky Duke 5k, 10k and Costume March will be held Saturday, October 26, at the Peacock Parking Lot, located at 416 Howard St. in Boone, on the campus of Appalachian State University

It’s an exciting time for everyone involved, said Parent to Parent FSN director, Kaaren Hayes, with proceeds going a long way to support the ongoing efforts of a much-needed program in the High Country.

The “Spooky Duke” is a certified 5K and 10K race with a free Costume March and Contest where children, adults and pets can all show off their unique costumes and share in the fun, Hayes said.

The 5k starts at 9 a.m. with those who preregister paying $20 to participate and others $25 on race day.

The 10k will kick off at 9 a.m. Pre-registration is $30 with
day of registration at $35.

The free Costume March starts at 10 a.m.

Awards will be presented to Top 3 Men and Women in both the 10k and 5k events following the races at about 10:30 a.m.

Free childcare (for those who register in advance) and kids activities from 8-10 a.m. will be available and include: Face painting, sidewalk chalk, corn hole toss, bubbles and more.

All runners are also encouraged to dress up. Costume prizes will be given!!

Spooky Duke History

According to Hayes, for the past eight years, Parent to Parent FSN-High County has held a fundraising and awareness event with running as its theme. The first 5K in 2011 was the brainchild of Jennifer McClure, an amazing Appalachian Social Work intern with the program, who chose to create a 5K for the organization as her final project.

“Her dream was that event would continue and grow — and it has,” said Hayes.

Dr. Charles R. Duke, former Dean of the Reich College of Education, became a sponsor, and to honor him — and to celebrate the Halloween theme — the name “Spooky Duke” was born.

Dr. Duke had this to say, “I am proud to be associated with the Parent to Parent program; its good work and resources have made a profound and positive difference in the lives of many families.”

The “Spooky Duke” allows children, adults and pets to all show off their unique costumes and share in the fun, Hayes added.

All proceeds from this race enable Parent to Parent FSN-HC to continue to support local families who have children with special needs. In 2018, the event raised $21,374, for which Hayes and the organization are grateful.

Hayes described Parent to Parent Family Support Network High Country (FSN-HC) as one that provides support, education and caring connections to families who have children with diverse physical, emotional, intellectual or health needs; have a child born prematurely; or are grieving the death of a child. Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties

“We expect approximately 450 participants for this 9th annual event, plus their families and supporters,” said Hayes. “Participants are Appalachian students and local families who believe that giving back to their community is important, and who support businesses that do the same.”

The event is supported by Reich College of Education, Appalachian State University.

Registration is now underway and may be completed at the following websites where more information may also be obtained: parent2parent.appstate.edu. and at appstate.edu/race.

Or you may contact Hayes at hayeskl@appstate.edu.

Scenes from Spooky Duke 2018