In May of 2013, three ELCA congregations in Blair, Wisconsin were host to the "Stomp Out Malaria" race to benefit the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Participating congregations included Blair Lutheran Church, North Beaver Creek Lutheran Church and Trinity Peace Parish. This "5K on the 5th of May" was a collaboration between these area churches and a number of community sponsors. For a registration of $10, participants could choose either a t-shirt or superhero cape to wear during the race. Over 160 runners and walkers participated in this great event.
The day began with an outdoor worship service and live music. Pastor Greg Kaufmann of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin even wore a stole that was adorned with "no mosquitoes" signs! People of all ages and abilities were encouraged to participate. Runners and walkers made their way through the course, where there were signs with facts about malaria, so that people could learn as they went. There was even a "Mosquito Mile" kids course for the youngest runners.
The day ended with a gathering around a Tyrannosaurs Rex piñata. The dinosaur was accompanied by a sign that said, "Make Malaria Extinct, Like me." Overall, the event in 2013 managed to raise $3200 for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. But they didn't stop there!
The community of Blair is planning on hosting another "Stomp Out Malaria 5K", this time on May 4, 2014. The event will once again combine worship, music, fitness and food. Bishop Jim Arends of the La Crosse Area Synod will preach during morning worship, and be present for the event. And once again, it will all end with a piñata party! Thanks to North Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, Blair Lutheran Church and Trinity Peace Parish. Best wishes on another great race; here's hoping for good weather and even better memories!