Runnin O’ the GreenAfter Monday and Tuesday’s winter storms, Runnin O’ the Green organizers say the 31st year of the event will mimic its predecessors — in both logistics and turnout.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
After Monday and Tuesday’s winter storms, Runnin O’ the Green organizers say the 31st year of the event will mimic its predecessors — in both logistics and turnout.
“I think it would be more fun than ever,” said Larry Knoblich, founder and organizer.
Runnin O’ the Green, an annual fundraising event, is set for Saturday.
Each year, the Run begins at Frontier Fort. After the sound of the starting gun, participants walk, run and tumble down the Fort’s neighboring hill.
This year is no different, Knoblich said, even with 14 inches of freshly fallen snow.
“Now, you know you have a certain type of people that would enjoy that,” he said, himself included.
More than 2,000 people took to that hill last year, Knoblich said, raising money for Elks’ Camp Grassick and cancer patients in the area. Dakota Medical Foundation matches the money the Run raises, he said.
“Total, from this goofy-looking event, we’ve donated $27,000 to good causes (in 2008),” he said.
The money helps mentally and physically disabled adults and children attend summer camp, said Dan Mimnaugh, Camp Grassick director. Grassick gives campers a safe and supportive environment, he said, and the opportunity to attend summer camp like anyone else.
“Programs like the Saint Paddy’s Day Run … just helps us immensely,” he said.
Each summer, about 120 students and 80 adults from throughout the state of North Dakota participate in one of the camp’s sessions, he said. The camp uses the money for operating expenses, sponsorships and scholarships.
The Run also raises money for Jamestown-area residents suffering from cancer.
Last year, 15 people each received $400, Knoblich said.
The Run is for a good cause and a good time, Knoblich said. But sometimes participants get out of hand.
Two years ago, 28 people were arrested during the event for illegal possession of alcohol (open containers on the street), disorderly conduct and assault, said Police Chief Dave Donegan.
Bars and restaurants curbed that problem last year. Many set up fenced-in beer garden areas for participants to drink outside legally, Donegan said, and the police department made fewer arrests.
Even so, the Jamestown Police Department scheduled additional patrol, he said.
“It’s a very busy day for us,” Donegan said.
The event is a busy day for a lot of organizations, Knoblich said, like restaurants, motels, grocery stores and gas stations.
“Every business is well-aware that it’s a big,” he said.
Registration for Runnin’ O’ the Green begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and costs $10. Participants can pre-register at the Elks Club after 4 p.m. today. Participants must be 21 years or older.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com