May 13, 2016
“According to the book of Hebrews, we are called to ‘run with perseverance the race that is set before us,’” said Pastor Jay Rudi of Oak Knoll Lutheran Church. He decided to take that biblical message literally, organizing a 5K event to bring the community together while simultaneously raising money to benefit those in need.
“We wanted to be a catalyst help make that happen, because we’re part of the neighborhood,” Rudi said. “We wanted an event to coalesce around the idea that we’re a neighborhood, and how we can be bigger than ourselves.”
The church has been a presence in the community since 1932, Rudi said, and its community includes not just Minnetonka and Hopkins but parts of nearby Hopkins, Plymouth, Wayzata and Golden Valley.
Rudi, himself a runner – “More like a lumberer,” he joked – said he had the concept of a fun run fundraiser in mind for years. “It’s been an idea of mine for a long time,” Rudi said. “It just all came together, thanks to people who were excited about it.” After about 10 months of planning, the inaugural event, dubbed the OK 5K Run/Walk to End Hunger, is scheduled for Saturday, May 21. Rudi said he hopes to have a few hundred people involved, but he’ll be happy just to reach triple-digits for this first event.
“Out of small things can come great things,” he said. So far, a number of local businesses have signed on in support of the event, including: Center for Diagnostic Imaging; Little Newton; Kim McClean of Alerus Mortgage; Nutritional Weight and Wellness; Kaskaid Hospitality; CSM Corporation; and Gregg Roeglin of Edina Realty. All of the proceeds from the event will benefit ICA Foodshelf, which offers food, financial and employment assistance to people in need throughout the west suburbs. Rudi hopes to raise at least $5,000.
“Hunger is kind of a hidden problem in this community, and ICA is out there trying to make a difference and help people get on their feet,” he said. The event will be held May 21, starting at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of Oak Knoll Lutheran Church (600 Hopkins Crossroad, Minnetonka). The cost is $15 per youth and $20 per adult. Rudi was quick to point out that, while the idea originated in the church community, the event itself isn’t faith-based and all are welcome.
“People can just show up, have fun and do some good,” Rudi said. “Ending hunger is something everyone can agree on.”
For more information or to get involved, visit OK5K.zapevent.com