The Rainsville City Council heard from Rainsville Freedom Run Coordinator Jerry Clifton, Monday night regarding last Saturday's race.
“This was our 13th year and it went great,” he said. “I think we had 922 registered and over 700 that participated.”
Clifton took the opportunity to thank the council for their contribution, saying as the event continues to grow every year, it becomes more expensive to hold and wouldn’t be possible without the help of the community.
“I know I am the face of the run but this is a community event,” he said. “I couldn’t do it by myself, there’s a lot of people that are involved.”
Clifton said the 2021 race raised more than $30,000 towards charity, the most they’ve raised in past years.
Proceeds from the 2021 Freedom Run remain in the community, helping local citizens through donations that benefit local charities including, The Summit, Running for Uganda, Kids Bolt, Turning Point Pregnancy Center, DeKalb County Animal Shelter, Care Packages For Our Troops, Distinguished Young Women of DeKalb County, Chattanooga Homeless Shelter, Shop With A Cop, The SAM Foundation and Feed My Starving Children.
Since last year's race was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Clifton said he was worried about participation. However, the event saw a high turnout with only around a 2% decline.
“We had runners here from 15 different states,” he said. “We had some great times and all the feedback we’ve gotten has been incredible.”
The Freedom Run also had support from various local organizations and businesses who put together teams that participated for the first time.
“It’s important that all of our communities participate and that’s why we talk about the fact that it's a run-walk race,” he said.
In addition, Clifton said this year they had more than $11,000 in door prizes and of that, $9,000 of it was cash prizes.
The 2021 Rainsville Freedom Run, also referred to as “The Best Small Race in America,” moved locations to the DeKalb County Schools Coliseum. Clifton said the new location provided a larger area for people to spread out during the awards ceremony and room to grow.
He also took a moment to thank Dewitt Jackson, of DeKalb County Schools Coliseum, Rainsville Fire Department, Rainsville Police Department, the multitude of sponsors and the many helpmates for their help bring the experience of a big race to the City of Rainsville.
The council also heard updates from the following departments:
Rainsville Fire Chief Willimac Wright reminded the public the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s annual burn ban began May 1, 2021, through Oct. 31, 2021, as part of ADEM efforts to protect air quality in various areas of the state.
Rainsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Goff reminded the public the Rainsville Freedom Fest is Saturday, June 26, rain or shine, at the Field of Dreams Sports Complex. Gates open at 1 p.m. The 2021 event will feature John Stone in concert, along with multiple local entertainment acts, pony rides, rock climbing wall, face painting, mechanical bull, a wide variety of food, arts and crafts, and the most vendors the event has ever seen, finishing off with a firework show at 9 p.m.
The council also:
• approved to change the Monday, July 5, 2021 council meeting to Thursday, July 8, 2021, due to the 4th of July holiday.
• approved the replacing of headwalls on Tucker Road, Rabbit Run Road and Woodridge Circle from Boozer Construction at $7,500.
• accept the bid from Sand Mountain Pest Management for the annual value of $315 a month for the servicing of 13 locations.
• approved the repair of two sewer lines from Johnny Clem Construction at an estimated cost of $8,000.
• approved the annual servicing of the Rainsville Fire Departments' fire trucks at the cost of $3,402.36.
• approved the purchase of 100 garbage cans from Toter at the cost of $7,102.40.
Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt was absent from Monday night's meeting.
The next council meeting is scheduled for July 8, 2021, with a workshop at 4 p.m. and a regular session at 4:30 p.m.