ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High School cheerleading team is used to tumbling, jumping and stunting. But now the Lady Raiders are adding “fun running” to their list of workouts this summer.
Richmond’s cheer team will hold its inaugural “Cheer Fun Run 5K” at Hinson Lake in Rockingham on Saturday, June 29 at 8 a.m.. The event will be sponsored by the Raider Cheer Moms, a non-profit organization created to help raise funds for the cheerleaders.
“We created the Raider Cheer Moms to help raise money for uniforms, mats, pom-poms, floats and senior gifts,” Melinda Murphy, the group’s lead organizer, said. “When we found out that my daughter, Ashley Murphy, made the team this year, I told the coach I know nothing about cheer, and she asked if I could ‘raise money.’
“As an accountant, that’s my kind of thing,” she laughed.
To be a Lady Raider cheerleader, participants spend hundreds of dollars each school year on an assortment of needs, and the idea behind the fundraiser is to help offset some of that cost. Murphy spoke with head coach Meredith Hood and decided a 5K race would be a fun, rewarding way for the community to back the cheer team.
“I was trying to think of something that would get people involved but give them something in return,” Murphy explained. “After speaking with Coach Hood, and understanding how expensive things are the squad needs, I knew we needed to do something big.
“Another factor is we want to have fun,” she added. “We want our girls involved and doing something that is not only productive but beneficial. A 5K is something that can get families and friends involved and the girls will be throughout the course cheering the runners on.”
Hinson Lake is no stranger to hosting running events, serving as the home for the RSHS and local middle schools’ cross country teams in the fall. It has also been the location of the 24 Hour Ultra Classic Marathon the past couple of years. A 5K race is approximately one and a half laps around the lake.
Pre-registration for the fun run is currently going on, with the early sign-up period costing $35 per runner. Those who sign up on the morning of the race, which will run from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., will pay $40.
To encourage local student involvement, a valid student identification card can be used to sign up at a discounted rate of $20. But those using their ID must sign up the day of the race, since the pre-registration link does not provide a discounted option. Requests for t-shirts must be made in advanced.
All minors are required to have an adult present to sign the participation waiver.
Murphy explained the goal is “to get about 100 runners” signed up. The event will be split into two categories, an adult 5K race (ages 13 and up) and a kid’s fun walk (ages five to 12). Those participating will receive a gift bag and a t-shirt, as well as complimentary water and snacks.
Categories for prizes will be announced the day of the race, and those who register the morning of are not be guaranteed a t-shirt. For those unable to attend, but want to support the program, raffle tickets can be purchased for $5 apiece.
“The mats the girls need are upward of $8,000 to $10,000,” Murphy said. “And the cost for new varsity uniforms is about $6,000. Coach Hood wants our girls to attend the UNC-Chapel Hill camp in August which is approximately $300 per girl.
“We are hopeful between the 5K, the raffle and the summer cheer camp the cheer team has, we will be able to pay the majority of what our girls need and ease the parents’ pockets,” she continued. “The cheerleaders rely solely on fundraisers and donations to fund their program.”
The ultimate goal of the summer fundraisers, on top of smaller ones throughout the upcoming school year, is to pay for the big ticket items, while also “making our girls’ season as successful as possible.”
To pre-register for the “Cheer Fun Run 5K,” click here. Updates will also be posted to the Raider Cheer Moms’ Facebook page.