When Frank Hilton formed Covington Police Who Care in 1978, the charitable organization worked on a budget of $800 a year. The money, which was voluntarily taken out of officers' checks, was given to policemen who were experiencing extreme hardships off the clock.
In large part due to the annual Covington Police Fuzz Run, the CPWC today works with a budget of more than $30,000 a year. For the past several years, all money raised from the Fuzz Run has been given to the CPWC to distribute as they see fit.
"The Fuzz Run has given us an opportunity to spend a lot of money for good causes in Covington," said CPD Captain Ken Malcom.
Malcom, who has organized this year's Fuzz Run, said the money raised previously went to other law enforcement causes around the state including the Law Enforcement Memorial in Forsyth. During this time, the Fuzz Run was nothing more than a 100-person race.
But as the race grew in popularity, 3,000 people are expected this year, the CPD decided to use the money raised to help those in need in the city. Malcom said 98 percent of the money raised by the Fuzz Run is dispersed in Covington.
While some of the money still goes to officers in need, most of the money is now given to organizations like the YMCA, the Special Olympics, Project Renewal and the Ministers Union.
Each year the CPWC also picks out a few families to sponsor during Christmas.
"That's one of the great things for us," Malcom said. "Whenever an officer sees a need, they can do something about it. As police officers, we see a lot of hardship. Most departments can't do much about it, but we thankfully can."
Officers still give money from their checks to CPWC, but most of the funds raised are donations from sponsors around the area.
This year, more than 40 local and national companies have given money to the Fuzz Run.
BB&T is the biggest donator, giving $5,000 to the event. Four companies gave $1,000, 31 sponsors gave $500 and six merchants gave $300. Other money is raised through registration fees from runners.
Some of that money is also given to winners of the race. The overall winner of the race will receive a cash prize of $200.
Many of the sponsors will have booths at the business expo portion of the Fuzz Run. The expo and registration for runners will begin Friday night.
Malcom recommends participants register Friday night to avoid a rush before the race.
"We will start the race on time," Malcom said. "We'll have plenty of volunteers there to help everyone Saturday morning, but its still best if people would register Friday."
A one-mile fun run for kids will start at 8 a.m. and the main 5K run will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Malcom said the forecast calls for temperatures below 70 degrees at race times, so runners should not have to worry too much about the heat.
To register to participate in the Fuzz Run, visit the Web site www.covingtonpolice.com/fuzzrun or stop by the CPD.