Monroe community supports at St.Vincent Poor Man Run


From  the top of the hill,  you could see a huge crowd of people who were wearing shorts and tank tops despite the cold. As if that was not enough shock for eight a.m. on a Saturday, there was a huge trailer with letters written in bold pink. As you drew closer to the crowd, you could see children and dogs among the mix of people.

You jerked awake as you heard the sudden sound of a gunshot and watched all the people start running at the same time. This was the St. Vincet de Paul Poor Man’s Run.

Chelcie Bonin, a P3 Pharm D. candidate and the main organizer of this event, said the event was to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul Community pharmacy in Monroe. This pharmacy helps low-income people that cannot afford their life-saving medications. Participants have to sign up for this event, and the fee depends on when you sign up but all the proceeds go straight to the pharmacy. This event also provided informational boards for runners to view before the race.

“We have a health fair that encourages the community to get healthier, and the basic health care services are done by the pharmacy students who volunteer their time to give back to the community,” Bonin said.

Kobi Cameron pushed people in a special kind of wheelchair for disabled people who are wheel-chair bound so they could participate in the races. The non-profit organization that provides this opportunity  is Ainsley’s Angels.

Jason Sandidge, the ambassador of Ainsley’s Angels, said, “This organization helps bring awareness to the disabled people in the community to help them participate in all kinds of endurance events. The runners volunteer to lend their legs to these people to help them live fuller lives in the community.”

First, second and third place went to University of Louisiana Monroe students. First overall winner, Kevin Dietrich, runs for ULM’s track and field team.

Dr. Leigh Hersey, a ULM political science professor who participated in the 5k run said, “This event means the opportunity to give back to our community, supporting our students here at ULM in the pharmacy program, helping educate the community about their health concerns as well as being able to give back to a program that helps provide medicine to those in need.”