5k event helps grow families through adoption

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Last January, Joel Dixon hosted the very first Forging Families 5k to help friends fund their adoption through an organization called Sacred Selections. The first event, which raised just under $9,600 was so successful, he’s scheduled another 5k this coming Jan. 9.

An avid runner, and a man who loves his hometown of Columbiana, Dixon felt like bringing runners to Columbiana would be an endeavor that could bring people together in a number of ways that would spread goodwill into hearts everywhere. And it did just that. A family in need was helped. Endorphins were raised. Visitors and tourists were brought to a beautiful town where they were greeted by hospitable locals.

The 2021 race is expected to be no different. With a few adjustments for COVID-19 precautions, Dixon hopes to bring the same goodwill and joy to another family and Columbiana. This year’s family, the Smiths, are from Autauga county. York and Amanda, along with their daughter Penelope, are adopting a son, Hawkins. The funds raised during this raise will make a huge difference in bringing this family together forever.

“Not everyone can adopt,” Dixon told us, “but so many can help those that can, and that makes a difference too.”

With the full support of the new mayoral administration, everything is a go for Jan. 9, and the race will start at the beautiful grounds of the Shelby County Arts Council in the heart of downtown.  Runners and walkers alike are encouraged to secure their spaces now, and will even save a little on registration if they sign up at Forgingfamilies.run before Dec. 15.

Registration is $20 for early birds, $25 after Dec. 15, and $30 the day of the race. For those that would rather sleep in but would still like to help, and maybe get a T-shirt too, there is a $15 “sleep in” option on the website. A one-mile fun run will end the morning festivities for $15 if you register early, and $20 the day of the race. The course map can be found on the race website.

To date, the 2021 race has already secured $6,000 in funds for the new adoptive family which bodes well for breaking last year’s precedent of nearly $10. Dixon also hopes that out of town runners will consider staying a while and visiting all the town has to offer that day. Overnight accommodations can even be made at the town’s historic Columbiana Bed and Breakfast or at Calera’s Hampton Inn.

Dixon is also still pleased to take on sponsors for this event. The more support, the more help he can raise in adoption funds for the Smith Family. If you have any questions about the race or interest in sponsorship, please visit the Second Annual Forging Families 5k event page on Facebook or visit the race webpage mentioned above.