It’s two days before the big weekend race and Good Samaritan executive director Kathy Clem is ‘freaked out.’ “I’m thinking ‘seriously?’ she exclaimed with a smile, as she talked about the sheer number of participants signed up for Saturday’s 12k’s of Christmas race. Speaking to Clem during Thursday night’s Fondren Unwrapped, she seemed oddly calm and ecstatic about what lies ahead for the weekend. The charity run benefiting Good Sam will take place in Fondren and Clem says over 500 have now signed up to run the challenging course (plus an additional 80+ kids.) “It’s beautiful here,” she said, “and even with Pearl and Ridgeland trying to lure us their direction, our race team said ‘this is the place.'” Clem said Good Sam is trying to give the merchants of her neighborhood an opportunity to promote themselves. What better way, she told us, with 600-700 people in your community, than to have ‘swag bags’ full of local merchant offers and freebies. And as a runner herself, Clem understands the goodie bag. She said “swag is important.”

But why a race? Clem told us so many who support Good Sam have changed their lives through running. And so two passions are combined with a third, Fondren, and a fundraiser and fun event is born. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Clem said Good Sam is in need of money and groceries. Feeding unemployed and low income families is a major part of Good Sam’s outreach and the center is looking for generous givers this holiday season. So this weekend, they want to start the ball rolling themselves. Clem said shes hopes the race is a great gift to runners, and a great gift to the community of Fondren. And, she said, “I hope in turn it will be a great gift to Good Sam, too.”

For more information, visit Christmas12k.com and stop by Brent’s Drugs today from 10am-7pm to pick up bags or register.

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