ORANGE PARK – BASCA, a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing better living, working, educational, social and recreational opportunities for children and adults with special needs, is holding their annual “Cape Abilities” 5K and Fun run event.
The iteration, however, will be different than usual. BASCA has been in Clay County for about 25 years. They have five group homes, three different day programs, support and transportation programs, as well as a thrift store.
The event will take place from September 1-26th and will be conducted virtually.
“This will be our eighth year,” said Pam Mylrea, BASCA Director of Development. “Usually we’re at the end of September. This year, because of COVID and everything, we pivoted and turned it into a virtual event. We didn’t want to disappoint the community, but we also had to keep everyone safe, so we felt that was the best way to do it.”
As BASCA was planning this year’s event and not seeing much of a let-up from the conditions created by the pandemic, they were forced to reimagine the Cape Abilities 5K and fun run. Many participants wear capes, showing that everyone has some sort of ability. That was when the idea for virtual participation arose. Public safety was paramount, but BASCA also felt beholden to both the community and its sponsors to find some way to hold the event still.
“We have a committee that plans the event every year,” said Mylrea. “As a committee, we decided that the best way to do this was to try to do a virtual event where people can still support us. They register through First Place Sports just like they would if it was a normal event. But instead of getting together on the 26th and running, between now and the 26th, they can run, walk, roll, whatever they want to do in the safety of their own neighborhood.”
The 5K and fun run has a $30 registration fee. Participants who register will receive a T-shirt and finisher medal for supporting BASCA and being involved in the event. Funds are raised through the registration fee through the sponsors and also via donations from the community. The event is one of the more significant fundraisers throughout the year.
“The ultimate goal [for this event] would be that a whole lot of the community participated, and we got a lot of people out there walking and doing something healthy while supporting a great cause,” Mylrea said.