CHESTERTON | Local NWI runners will hit the streets at 8 a.m. Christmas Eve morning at the Red Cup Café, 115 Broadway (downtown Chesterton), with the hope of collecting non-perishable food items for the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry. The Christmas Eve Jingle Bell Run started a couple of years ago when two friends, Tama Pickford and Salvador Mujica, encouraged a few more of their friends to take a Christmas Eve run through town with bells on.
In its second year, they all decided to share the idea with their friends on Facebook and the group grew by a whopping 85 runners. The friends encouraged others to bring donations for the local food pantry which resulted in a large collection of non-perishable food items for the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry.
In 2013, Tama Pickford co-founded a not-for-profit organization called the Chesterton Christmas Eve Jingle Bell Run Inc. with the expectation of getting better organized in anticipation of an even larger turnout this year.
The organization is completely run by volunteers and all proceeds from the event will go to the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry. Those wanting to participate can register for FREE online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chesterton-christmas-eve-jingle-bell-run-registration-9411274375.
The website gives people the option to purchase an event t-shirt, make a monetary donation to the food pantry, or simply sign up for the run. A limited number of shirts will be available for purchase at the event for $20 each - cash only. You can also register that morning at the Red Cup starting at 7 a.m. All profits will be given to the food pantry. Organizers ask that participants and supporters please bring a non-perishable food item or new unopened toiletry item to donate.
The event has been receiving great support from local businesses which have made some big donations. This year they will have a ton of door prizes which will be raffled off after the run. A few of the sponsors who donated items include Extra Mile Fitness Company, Orange Mud, June Thomas Massage Therapy, Serenity Salon and Spa, Strack & Van Til, Shady Lawn Florist, Minuteman Press, Good to Go by Lucrezia, 2Tom’s, Medi-Dyne, Able Disposal, Red Cup Café, George’s Gyros Spot, Cause 2 Compete Race Series, Crazy Legs Race Series, Wells Street Beach, The Tailgator 5K, Disposable Theatre Improv Comedy show, Harborcars.com and NWI Region Runners.
So put on your most festive running clothes and some jingle bells, and help them spread the Christmas spirit through the Town of Chesterton! You don't need to be a runner to participate! You can come on out and walk the 5K or stop by to simply donate a non-perishable food item for the food pantry.