1st Annual Open Door Project I Matter And So Do They 5K


Hallie Wolfe

All of the runners participating in the Open Door Projects I Matter 5K were lined up behind the starting line waiting for the race to start.

Hallie Wolfe, Feature Editor

It was 8:30am in Pine Grove and excitement was in the air. The Open Door was hosting their first annual 5K which they named the “I Matter And So Do They 5K.” “It was a great day,” said Julie Stump, who is the Vice President of the Open Door Project. Stump continued, “I love to see the community come together for one common goal or purpose. The purpose of the race was to remind each runner that they matter and so does everyone else. It was a beautiful day full of purpose and fun!”

The runners started arriving around 8:30 to sign in and grab their number. The race started at 9:00am and was hosted at the Hose Hook and Ladder Fire Company. “It felt great to see everyone energized and excited to participate in a run,” said Ann Wolfe, President of the Open Door Project,“there was a palpable good vibe in the air the morning of the run.” 

“We had a great team that helped make the event possible,” continued Wolfe. “Jenny Fessler, Glenda Wilkem, Tiffany Hebberling, Ashely Fickel and Heather Tobias served as our volunteer team along with myself, Julie Stump and Amy Joe Brixius from the Open Door Project. The Pine Grove Borough was very supportive and helpful as well as members of HHL FireCo, and local businesses did an amazing job sponsoring the event. Fundraising is a big part of keeping a non- profit organization running. I wanted to plan a fundraiser that wasn’t just selling something but rather providing an experience for the community to do together. Especially after COVID forced everyone to give up group activities for a year.”

Ella Fasnacht, a freshman,was one of 125 participants in the 5K. “I really enjoyed it and would totally do it again next year if it’s held again,” said Fasnacht. “It was really nice because we could run it or some people could walk it if they wanted. I ended up getting 3rd place overall and I even beat my dad in the last stretch and he ended up coming in 4th place. I really had fun,” continued Fasnacht.

“We couldn’t have been more pleased with our first annual “I Matter And So Do They” 5K!” said Wolfe. “Next year we are planning on having the event the first Saturday in June and it’ll be bigger, better, and even more fun!”