Friends and families gathered at Bethany Baptist Church in Callao on March 25 for the 8th Annual Owl Town 10K race. Every year, the 10K proceeds go towards their mission trip to the Standing Rock Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. This year they had nearly 50 participants and raised over $1,500.
Runners got colorful t-shirts and the chance to win cash prizes when signing up for the race. This year the race route, which starts at the entrance to Owl Town Road by the church, was adjusted so participants didn’t have to brace a large hill on their journey. Another special treat was the perfect weather on the morning of the race, which is something their not used to with the event.
The Bethany Baptist mission trip team has been going to the Standing Rock Reservation for seven years now. This year, a 20-member team will travel to North Dakota for a week to spread the word of God in hope that it will help the Native Americans as they face their daily struggles, according to event organizer, Katelyn Hawkins. They will also help with yard work, light construction and repairs at a local church on the reservation while there.
Each day they have an all-day Vacation Bible School-like program for people of all ages., which includes bible study, prayer, crafts, recreation, music, snack and dinner, according to Hawkins. They’ll also plan to have a Youth Night, Ladies Spa Night and a Men’s BBQ for those specific groups. An average of 110 people from the local community come out to their camp each day, so all the Owl Town 10K proceeds help buy the supplies they will need to put on the event.
“We enjoy going back year after year in order to build on the relationships that we have already established and make new ones,” said Hawkins, “Given the past historical trauma that the Sioux people have experienced, it took time to build trust with the people when we first began visiting. They assumed that our promise to return would be broken. The fact that we have returned every single year has meant so much to the local people that have become more like our close friends and family than anything.”
They couldn’t do it without the help of the community through the annual 10K, including their sponsors. This year’s race winners:
1st – MacKenzie Hall, 58 minutes 47seconds
2nd – Lillie Moss, 1 hour 8 minutes
3rd – Abby Kiss, 1 hour 10 minutes
1st – Richard Sisson, 44minutes 18 seconds
2nd – Paulin Sanchez, 1 hour 3 seconds
3rd – Matthew Jett, 1 hour 8 minutes
1st – Josefina Sanchez, 1 hour 17 minutes
2nd – Diamond Roberts , 1 hour 40 minutes