BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Runners can help fill DRAW’s buckets with needed emergency supplies at the second annual Bucket Run, Sept. 7.
DRAW, Disaster Relief At Work, named the 5K run/walk after the orange supply buckets their volunteers deliver to victims of natural disasters around the country.
DRAW’s first race last year came during a busy summer, said Greg Martin, director of the non-profit group.
“It was right after Harvey hit, and then Irma hit,” Martin said.
Volunteers spent nine weeks delivering emergency supplies and providing assistance in Houston, Texas, struck by the category 4 Hurricane Harvey, then went to Jacksonville, Fla., to help victims of Hurricane Irma.
“We had a big outpouring of people coming out to run to help,” Martin said.
So far this year, DRAW responded to a tornado and flooding emergencies in Monroe and Houghton, as well as in Pennsylvania.
“Flooding seems to be the thing this year,” Martin said. “They’ve had over 14 inches of rain in three days (in eastern Pennsylvania) – a lot of homes underwater. Three local fire departments called to ask for supplies.”
They took a load of supplies down, enough to help 75-100 families, and may send another one, he said.
All proceeds of the Bucket Run support these and future relief operations, he said.
This year’s run will have a new route and evening start time. Registration and check-in on race day, Friday, Sept. 7, starts at 5:30 p.m. at Clarkston Community Church, 6300 Clarkston Road. The 5K race, laid out on a flat and fast course through residential areas, starts at 7 p.m.
“We’ve had a good response so far. We had 109 last year. We’re building on that this year,” Martin said. “We’ll have more of a party atmosphere. Lik Gelato Bar (a sponsor) will provide their frozen treats at the finish line.”
They may also offer coupons at the race to DRAW’s new coffee shop, the Coffee Bucket, opening in early September by Airport Road in Waterford.
The coffee shop will support on-call first responders so the group can have a paid staff always ready to go.
They’ll also have information and recruit runners and volunteers for the Clarkston State Bank Back Roads Half Marathon, coming up Nov. 11. DRAW is one of the half marathon’s official charities this year, Martin said.
Bucket Race registration is $35, plus a $3 online sign up fee. Price increases to $40 after Aug. 31. To sign up, so to runsignup.com/Race/Events/MI/Clarkston/BucketRun5K.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO