On Your Mark: 12th Annual Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K and Tuscaloosa Half Marathon Join Forces
Since 2007, the Mayor’s Cup has raised almost a quarter of a million dollars to benefit the young children of our state. A campaign that began with the election of Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative aims to accomplish just that.
“Prior to being mayor, I worked with the school system, so I was seeing these phenomenal test results among our children that we were able to get into a Pre-K program,” Maddox said. “I felt like one of the things we could do to ensure a brighter future is early intervention with Pre-K, with certified teachers and a school environment with wrap-around services. For me, it's just been a labor of love.”
This year’s partnership with the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon seeks to draw an increase in participants and to raise even more for local charities. The combined races will benefit not only the Pre-K initiative, but also several other local organizations that promote children’s education.
According to Maddox, only 70 percent of Alabama’s children have access to Pre-K programs. The initiative currently serves more than 470 academically at-risk preschoolers in 27 pre-k classrooms, but he hopes as the Mayor’s Cup continues to grow, the community can help to close that gap.
“I really believe, especially with the challenges facing so many of our children today, that having an active environment and an active, vibrant Pre-K program is one of the keys to sustainable success academically and socially,” Maddox said.
For Maddox, the best part of the Mayor’s Cup is seeing the healthy, active Tuscaloosa children who participate in the 5K. His hope is these young community members will become the future advocates for the Pre-K initiative and equal education opportunities in the state.
The Mayor’s Cup 5K for Pre-K and the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, March 24. The courses begin and end at Government Plaza, where participants can also pick up race materials. Half Marathon participants start at 7 a.m., and Mayor’s Cup 5K participants begin at 8 a.m.
Whether you're an experienced racer or a first-time participant, Maddox has one message.
“Come on out and make a difference.”
For more information, or to register, visit tuscaloosamayorscup.com. To learn more about the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon – presented by CNL Financial – visit tuscaloosahalfmarathon.org.