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‘Run for Recovery’ fundraiser slated for second anniversary of Michael

By Tim Croft
The Star

A race, a community gathering, to celebrate recovery and the progress made from Hurricane Michael. 

That is the aim of 50forFL as it returns again on the anniversary of Michael. 

50forFL will be held Oct. 10

Last year, 50forFL raised nearly $100,000, money donated to several local churches more attuned to the community’s needs than race organizers. 

This year, the name is a bit different, “Run for Recovery”, but the date is the same, Oct. 10, the second anniversary of everybody’s favorite Category 5 hurricane. 

And the format will be a tad different. 

The event will consist of a 5K and 10K runs/walks, a Fun Run and a community gathering, the event tailored to expand the number of potential participants. 

“We wanted to have more people be able to be involved, make it a family fun event,” said David Millican. 

Millican, an officer with Chik fil-A and homeowner on Cape San Blas, was among the driving forces behind the 50forFL effort. 

This year’s event will begin near downtown Port St. Joe and feature both 5K and 10K run/walks along the Port City Trail, followed by a Fun Run and community fete.  

Each runner and walker will receive a custom 50forFL neck gaiter and uniquely crafted finisher medal. 

A limited number of commemorative race shirts will be available for runners to purchase during online race registration. 

Last year's event raised more than $90,000

But, given the pandemic, there are also options to participate beyond donning shoes and running; virtual races and donation options are available.  

The virtual events include 5K, 10K, and 50-mile runs.  

All can be completed anytime between now and Oct 10 at any location.  

Athletes will be able to download a free app that allows them to have automatic GPS tracking that notifies them when they have reached the proper distance on their run.  

Time and distance are automatically uploaded, and athletes can view their times and rankings on the website during and after the virtual race.  

The 50forFL volunteers and staff are committed to hosting a fun and safe event.  

Millican noted that the team had worked tirelessly to ensure all local, state, and national guidance pertaining to COVID-19 will be followed.  

“It is important for us to provide the hardworking people of Port St Joe an event that the whole community can be involved in and proud of,” said Race Director Zane Holscher.  

“We know that the pandemic this year has made recovery from Hurricane Michael even tougher, and we look forward to hosting an amazing event.”  

More information about the event and links for registration and donations can be found at www.50forFL.com. 

The origins of 50forFL start with Millican. 

In brief, after Michael it was clear that certain critical local caregivers were struggling despite help and resources flowing into the affected area.  

The state documented the extent of unmet needs within the recently-approved disaster assistance plan approved by the Florida Department of Emergency Management. 

So, in an effort to assist. 50forFL, with runners seeking support for their efforts through donations, was established. 

In 2019, 50forFL brought in over $90,000, with three main drivers: raising funds, raising awareness of local businesses and community needs, and celebrating the restoration efforts.  

The funds raised by 50forFL go directly to faith-based organizations in the Port St Joe area, such as First Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church who continue to need outside help to work and serve. 

This year's event will have more of a family-fun element