First Jax Dash 5K and Fun Run set for April 12
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Feb 10, 2014 | 1476 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Jacksonville fireman is taking on something he’s never done before. And he’s asking for the community’s support and participation.

David Bell, president of the Jacksonville Professional Firefighters Association Local 3948, is organizing the 1st Annual Jax Dash 5K and Fun Run beginning at 8 a.m. on April 12.

The Jacksonville Fire Department and the parks and recreation department are co-hosting the event.

Proceeds will go to JPFFA Local 3948’s Jax Charities Fund which supports local causes and charities, including Venecia’s Foundation (Venecia Butler, a cancer survivor), St. Luke’s Episcopal Church canned food drive and the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center.

The run will begin at the community center and proceed to the Ladiga Trail to the train depot. From here it will go to from Mountain Street West to Francis Street Northwest, pass the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency, Kitty Stone Elementary School, right onto Gayle Avenue pass the Dr. Francis Museum, onto Coffee Street, down A Street through the mill village, take a right back toward Mountain Street West and the train depot and back down Ladiga Trail back to the community center.

The cost for the 5K run is $20 and includes a t-shirt. The fun run is $10, and those 10 and under will get a firefighter’s hat, badge and wrist band.

Bell said he is asking for sponsorships and thus far has four.

“We’re very appreciative of the support we have received so far,” said Bell. “I’ll be contacting more potential sponsors in the future. Our goal is about 200 runners. In talking with other organizers, that seems like a realistic goal.”

The First United Methodist Missions Committee and Mill Village Homeowners Association are possibly planning to set up water stations along the route. Retired Senior Volunteer Program members will have water stations at the Dr. Francis Museum and the train depot.

The Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency will have a water station in front of their building on West Francis Avenue. McDonald’s of Jacksonville will provide cups and paper products at drink stations for runners.

Any individuals or groups wishing to get involved with a sponsorship or volunteer can contact do so on Facebook at JAX Dash 5K and Fun Run or email Bell at

Bell stressed that pre-registration is the key. All pre-registered runners will be guaranteed a t-shirt. Pre-registration for runners can be done by using a credit card online at Active.Com/JaxDash. Runners can also register in person at the fire station or community center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m, using a check or money order. No cash will be accepted.

“I just want everybody to come out help a good cause and have a good time,” said Bell. “We’re trying to continue our presence in the community, and we want to be able to affect and help as many people as possible. We want to pay it forward. A lot of times, the only time you see a fireman is when you are possibility having the worst day in your life. We’re trying to even that out. ”

Bell said that Jacksonville is the second home for many of the firemen of local JPFFA Local 3948 because they spend at 10 nights a month in the city.

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First Jax Dash 5K and Fun Run set for April 12 by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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