HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the University of Southern Mississippi
Funds raised from the event will support the Center's life-changing work with children from birth through age five who have a wide range of communication and developmental disabilities.
"As our signature event, we look forward to The Classic bringing the community together for a cause so near to our hearts," said Sarah Case-Price, director for the Center. "We had such a great time last year; and it's important to us that others understand who we are and the impact we have on our children and our state."
Each year, more than 100 children in South Mississippi with communicative and developmental disabilities receive direct early intervention services through the Center. Services include speech language therapy, behavioral therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, special instruction and early oral intervention (also known as deaf education). Additionally, the Center serves as a training and modeling resource for university students and professionals.
The race will begin at 9 a.m. with a start/finish at Pride Field, near the Payne Center. Both the 10K and 5K courses will route through campus. Post-race refreshments include beverages from Coca-Cola and food from Half Shell Oyster House, Smoothie King, and Corner Market. Great local entertainment will be provided by "Wes J and the Shifters."
The deadline to guarantee a T-shirt is Feb. 17; and race packets will be available for pick-up at The Children's Center between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26 or at 7:30 a.m. on race day.
Additional entertainment will include a carnival hosted by the Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg's Provisional Class. Runners will be admitted at no extra charge, but the community is invited to join the fun with a $3 donation or a new/gently-used developmental toy. Funds and toys collected from the carnival will benefit the Center. Activities include a train ride, bounce house, face painting, a petting zoo, carnival booths, and more.
"As the parent of a child who benefits directly from the services The Children's Center provides, I am more than excited for our class to host this event," said Amanda Lee, a member of this year's JA Provisional Class. "Their services are helping my child learn to communicate. It doesn't hit home any closer than that."
In addition to partners like Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg, The Classic is taking place due to numerous charitable sponsors, including: The Hattiesburg Post and Signature Magazine, Mississippi Power, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, Citizens National Bank, United Healthcare, Donna & Greg Langford, WHLT22, Magnolia State Bank, Citizens Bank, ServiceMaster Clean, Hattiesburg Clinic, Ingram Attorneys, Busby Companies, Thompson Engineering, Magnolia Health, Daniell Motors, Southern Miss Alumni Association, Keith's Superstore, Kelly & Jim Blackwood, Baker & Graham Dental, Natchez Wealth Management, Corlew, Munford & Smith, Musgrove-Smith Law, Hub Development, The Summit Rehab, Forrest General Hospital, Anderson Design Center, Canon Engineering, Newk's Eatery, South Mississippi Electric Power Association, Horizons Professional Services, Regions Bank, and Java Moe's.