BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Disaster Relief at Work (D.R.A.W.) is helping those hit by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey get back on their feet and invite you to join them this Saturday for the first Bucket Run 5K.
Held at Fort Clarkston, 7127 Dixie Highway, all proceeds go to D.R.A.W.
Executive Director Greg Martin explained the Bucket Run helps the organization be flexible and allow them to get the exact items they need as they need them.
“We met a woman who didn’t have family and had a full house of things that had been ruined,” he shared from Florida last Thursday. “It’s tough to go through and decide what you can keep and what you can’t keep. Our team went in and the things we needed were bins and boxes to put things in. I greenlit them going to the store to make sure we had the bins. She was able to get everything out of her house today. Her house is completely gutted and cleaned, disinfected and she can start to rebuild. With help of supplies and a group of people she is ready for the next step. A giant weight was lifted off her shoulders.”
She was one of many Martin and D.R.A.W. first responders helped. Their purpose was to make sure residents with severe flood damage had help getting items out of their homes, get it air raided and disinfected before black mold formed and the home became unlivable.
“We are trying to work a a feverish pace to get to as many people as we can who need our help,” he said.
Martin shared not many can be first responders and help with the severe flood damage, but they can help by being at the Bucket Run.
“Anytime anyone sees a storm like this and the effects they think what can I do to help? Unfortunately most of us our first response is probably not much,” he said. “Not many can be first responders and give up a week of their life. People can’t collect a ton of supplies and fill buckets. But they can come to a 2-hour event, walk or run and be part of a fun thing and know they are a part of is having a direct impact on victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.”
Pam Rush, owner of Fort Clarkston, is excited they can help D.R.A.W. by hosting the event and being one of the sponsors.
“There’s so much going on in the world and even the United States right now. If we can make a difference from our standpoint in Clarkston, Michigan – that’s super cool,” she said, adding she became involved because it was local and people can volunteer. She shared Fort Clarkston wanted to have a 5K and Martin wanted to have a run for D.R.A.W.
“We were just chatting – we want to do one, you want to do one let’s do it,” she smiled. “There’s hundreds of volunteers here putting together D.R.A.W. buckets and trucking buckets. It’s about D.R.A.W. and bringing recognition to a really cool local disaster relief group. Greg is a super great guy. He’s got lots of ideas and a big heart.”
This year D.R.A.W. has helped out in eight places for natural disasters and this year is the first time they have responded to two giant hurricanes in a short amount of time.
“We have had a huge outpouring of support,” Martin said. “Our first responders have been great. The number of people who said they would give up time to come down can make anyone part of the process proud.”
Sponsors for the Bucket Run include Fort Clarkston, Neiman’s Family Market, Bowman Chevrolet, Alexander’s, Anytime Fitness of White Lake Commons, Rush RV, Farmers Insurance Waterford, Planned Financial Services, Ecographics, LKE Locksmith, Lifepointe Chiropractic, Lapeer Advocacy Center, Star EMS Ambulance, Live Well Chiropractic, Earth to Earth, Roofing and Beyond and Renewal by Anderson, and Joy Vibes.
The Bucket Run is $35 to participate in and runners can sign up on Fort Clarkston or D.R.A.W website or the morning of the event. Participants receive a T-shirt and a medal. They also have the choice to run or walk.
“The are pretty cool – they are buckets,” Rush shared. “It’s a cool way locally to be involved.”
Registration and check-in is at 7:30 a.m. with the 5K run beginning at 8:30 a.m.; 5K walk at 8:45 a.m.; and one mile walk at 9 a.m.
BY WENDI REARDON PRICE