More than 1,200 runners have signed up to run in a benefit race on Oct. 1 for the Umpqua Strong Fund, which benefits the survivors and the families of those who died in the attack at Umpqua Community College last October.
The purpose of the event is to fund scholarships in the names of the victims and survivors of the tragedy.
The 5K Run/Walk and 9K run are set for 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Oct. 1, at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
Randi Feland, executive director of Umpqua Strong, said the organization has received a matching gift challenge of $10,000 and it is encouraging people to raise funds and gather pledges to match the gift.
“When someone registers for Umpqua Strong as either a participant or as a volunteer, they have a unique online fundraising page that they can share with friends and family, or on social media or through e-mails, and people can donate with a click of a button,” Feland said.
Feland said the $10,000 was an anonymous gift and the proceeds go to the UCC Foundation to award scholarships in the names of the nine people that died and the survivors in the shooting almost a year ago on the UCC campus.
Feland said it is one of the biggest walk/runs ever in the county, and people are continuing to register, many from outside of Oregon.
People can register as a virtual or remote runner and participate from anywhere in the country, and do their own run/walk and still support the cause, Feland said.
“We have people signed up as virtual runners all the way from Pennsylvania and Anchorage. The Portland Trailblazers staff has a team that will participate in Portland, so that’s a cool feature to get the word out and and allow people to support even if they can’t come to Roseburg that weekend.
The University of Oregon women’s soccer team is coming and will volunteer on the course.
Feland said there is the 9K race because of the nine victims, and each kilometer is dedicated to one of those victims.
Feland said they also have a concert planned for after the race at Legion Field, and she said it’s the first time ever that a concert has been held on the field.
She said they do still need a few volunteers to help with packet pickups and cleaning up after the concert, which starts right after the awards ceremony at about 12:30 p.m. Local singer Tori Rose will perform at 1 p.m. They will have a speaker and check presentation to UCC at 2 p.m. About 2:30 p.m. the concert gets underway and concludes at 4:30 p.m.
“We are not meaning for this to be a party by any means. This is just a way to gather and support and encourage one another, and hopefully be a positive outlet,” said Feland.
Umpqua Strong is registered as a non-profit 501©3 and organizers say 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the UCC Foundation, which administers the scholarships.
For information go to www.umpquastrong.org.