MIDDLEBURG – This Saturday, runners across the region will come to Clay County to take part in either a 5K or a 10K race to help raise money for scholarships that will help students in Clay County …
MIDDLEBURG – This Saturday, runners across the region will come to Clay County to take part in either a 5K or a 10K race to help raise money for scholarships that will help students in Clay County pay for college.
With 2018 marking the Black Creek 5K’s seven-year anniversary, the organization behind the event, the Black Creek Bowl Association, is looking forward to seeing over 1,000 people in attendance on Oct. 20 in Middleburg. The organization’s president, Patti Kohler, expects this year’s event to be the biggest yet.
“Every year, it grows and grows and we’re expecting 1,200 in attendance for the 5K and 10K,” Kohler said. “There will be another 400 or so for the fun run.”
Of those participants, Kohler said roughly 500 of will be runners. Runners’ race registration fees go to fund scholarships given out each spring by BCBA. One of these scholarships, the $3,000 Detective David White Memorial Scholarship, which has been funded by the Law Offices of Michael C. Quimby this year, serves to honor David White, a Clay County officer, who was shot and killed on Feb. 16, 2012.
White, who was 35 at the time of his death, and his fellow detective, Matthew Hanlin, and other detectives were raiding a suspected meth house in the 4800 block of Alligator Boulevard in Middleburg around 6:30 pm. on Feb. 16. As White and Hanlin approached the front door, one of the house’s six squatters immediately opened fire, shooting both White and Hanlin. Hanlin was wounded but recovered, however, White died.
White is survived by his wife Jennifer and two children.
Originally, the Black Creek Bowl Association was just planning to have a $3,000 scholarship when it started in January of 2012. The next month, in February, when White was killed and after learning that he and his wife were Middleburg High School alumni, BCBA decided to make the scholarship a memorial for the fallen officer.
“It just felt right to have this scholarship in his name,” Kohler said.
In previous years, the scholarship has been available to only Middleburg High School students, but for the first time ever, any Clay County student can apply and be considered. This falls in line with the mission of BCBA, which over the past six years, has given away over $64,000 in scholarships.
“Our mission is to help kids go further in education,” Kohler said.
This year, because of some Blanding Boulevard construction, the race will begin at 3958 Main St., behind the Middleburg Elementary parking lot at 7:30 a.m. There will be food, medals, shirts, cinch bags and more for participants. For kids, there will be a free mile-long fun-run.
Interested participants can still sign up by either going to the Dye Clay YMCA on 3322 Moody Ave. near Orange Park on Oct. 16, from noon to 5 p.m., which is where runners will be picking up packets, or arriving at the event at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.
This year’s changed route allow runners to see more of the historic heart of Middleburg.