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Posted: April 24, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Cheerios Challenge raises funds for families

By Anthony Banks/

About 725 runners and walkers were up bright and early Saturday morning for the eighth annual Cheerios Challenge, along with more than 500 onlookers and supporters and 102 volunteers who pitched in to make the event a success.

Covington YMCA Executive Director Louly Hay-Kapp said, "We’re extremely grateful to those people who gave of their time and energy to make it all come together. There were volunteers on the route as early as 5 a.m. in the morning during the week leading up to the race as well."

"We’re also grateful to the Covington Police Department, led by Lt. Al Miller, and Lt. Chris Cain, who made sure the route was safe. That took a tremendous amount of coordination on the part of the police department."

The event raised about $5,500 to be donated to the Partner with Youth program, which allows children and families to participate in YMCA programs who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate.

Last year there were about 970 people served in the program, and Hay-Kapp said the number of enrollments in Partner with Youth has been on the rise. "Right now, we have many more requests because of the economy," she said. She pointed out the YMCA does not turn away participants because of an inability to pay.

"I’d also like to acknowledge the sponsors," said Hay-Kapp. The event was sponsored by Advantage Fire, BB&T, General Mills, Longhorn Steakhouse of Covington, Police Who Care/Covington Police Department and Sunbelt Builders.

The complete results of the race are listed at www.coolrunning.com

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