The Lincoln County YMCA is helping residents get a â€œjump startâ€ on their exercising and weight-loss goals for next year by hosting their annual 5K fundraiser Saturday.
Itâ€™s the non-profit organizationâ€™s fifth time doing the event, which will be hosted at the Gaston College Lincoln campus.
The YMCA is still in need of volunteers for the race.
More than 300 participants have already signed up for the event. YMCA officials predict at least 400 people will actually run or walk on Saturday.
â€œThe Y gives families and friends an opportunity to play, socialize and just be together,â€ Jenny Drennen said.
Drennen is the aquatics coordinator for both the Lincoln County Family YMCA and Sallyâ€™s YMCA.
The event raises around $6,000 each year with proceeds ultimately benefiting Lincoln County families, allowing them to actively participate in various YMCA programs throughout the year.
â€œWithout the communityâ€™s support, many of these families would never have the opportunity to experience what the YMCA has to offer,â€ Megan Britt, North-Y community marketing and communications assistant, said.
Drennen noted that obesity is a â€œgrowing epidemicâ€ that affects nearly 20 percent of children between the ages of two and 19, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
â€œOne out of three (children) is overweight before their fifth birthday,â€ she said.
Drennen believes both increased portion sizes coupled with decreased physical activity among individuals had led to this epidemic.
In addition, she added that overweight children often become overweight adults who have increased risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
She noted that the issue of obesity is â€œone that needs to be addressed now, rather than later â€“ when it may be too late.â€
The YMCAâ€™s 5K run/walk is set to start at 9 a.m. at 511 South Aspen Street.
A one-mile fun run will follow as well as an awards ceremony.
Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children 18 and under. To register, visit ymcacharlotte.org/Lincoln or at Lincoln County Family YMCAâ€™s Member Services.
Anyone wishing to serve as a volunteer or sponsor can contact Jenny Drennen at (704) 716-4595 or email her at jenny.drennen@