bbq and a brew

The BBQ & A Brew event at the Corn Crib will raise funds and awareness for the senior community of McLean County.

Normal’s Activity and Recreation Center (ARC), a local fitness center aimed at bringing socialization and fitness to the Bloomington community ages 55 and up, will host its first annual BBQ & A Brew 5K, one-mile walk or run, and quarter-mile youth run on Oct. 22. The event, sponsored by Fleet Feet SportsHeartland Community College and 50+ News & Views, will include a race followed by a barbeque and beer meal.

ARC hopes to raise funding and awareness for the senior community of McLean county, as proceeds will benefit the ARC Living Memorial Fund and support efforts to provide McLean County seniors the opportunities and support needed to enjoy a successful aging experience.

“This is our first 5K one-mile walk/run and it will benefit the ARC Living Memorial Fund,” Assistant Director Molly Camper said. “We use money in the funds to purchase items we have deemed important or necessary for our overall program’s success, which in return benefits our community as a whole.”

The event is open to those of all ages, promoting the fact that younger people in the area can support their seniors in fun, active ways.

“This BBQ & A Brew 5K & 1 Mile Walk/Run + ¼ Mile Youth Run fundraiser is a way to help community members show support for local seniors and for ARC to raise funds for a variety of areas of the center, and to aid in future expansion of the programs and services we are able to offer,” PR Coordinator Samantha Oleson said. “All in all, ARC is working to provide the means to a happy and successful retirement and aging experience.”

Organization for the race began nearly a year in advance and is still continuing even weeks before the event takes place. Funding and support for the BBQ & A Brew came from local groups willing to sponsor ARC’s first event of this kind.

“I began reaching out to community organizations to sponsor the fundraiser in fall and winter last year ... we are currently about $1,500 away from having the event fully sponsor-funded, but I am proud of what we have accomplished as a first-year event,” Oleson said.

Even with brew in the name, the race will include many activities for those underage and children. ARC has planned bounce houses, cotton candy, carnival games and adventure trikes available throughout the event. Those interested in just purchasing a meal and beer ticket are also welcome to join in the fun.

“People of all ages are encouraged to participate, there should be something for everyone,” Camper said.

Tickets for the race can be purchased on the Activity and Recreation Center website and range from $6-$35, depending on age and participation. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. and will run until 6 p.m. at the Corn Crib. For more information, visit the ARC website or check out the event page on Facebook.

REBECCA DAVIS  is a Features reporter for The Vidette. Any questions or comments regarding her article can be directed to Follow her on Twitter @VRebeccaDavis

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