CULLMAN – A warm morning and sunny skies greeted all the participants the morning of the Look Ahead Foundation 5K Race. Approximately 70 runners showed up to run and help children from broken homes receive a higher education.
Children come from all different types of families and hardships. Some come from a home with only one parent, or they are living with parents who suffer from addiction. There are many teenagers and college students who struggle to find a way to pay for college.
“The Look Ahead Foundation is a growing non-profit organization here in Cullman,” Joey Travis, founder of the Look Ahead Foundation, said. “We help kids from broken homes be able to afford higher education. So this is the third year of this run, and all of the proceeds go to the scholarship fund.”
Travis started this foundation when he was only 18 years old, after realizing just how hard it is for children in situations similar to his to pay for college.
“I was in my freshman year of college, and I just realized how hard it really was to get to go to college for someone in my situation,” said Travis. “I come from a single parent household.”
According to the 2013 Census Bureau, 27 percent of children and teens in Alabama are currently living in single parent homes. This does not include those who are living with a grandparent, aunt or uncle, and this is just one home situation that is eligible for the scholarship program. According to Travis, many situations are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
“Every year we send out scholarship applications to anyone eligible within Cullman County,” Travis stated. “So the city, county and private schools all receive applications through their guidance counselors around Thanksgiving and Christmas time.”
Travis and his associates have already made huge strides with growing the Foundation, and Travis says that even more growth is coming.
“We are growing,” he said with a smile. “We are about to be at a place where we will have a large member group, and we can have more help with fundraisers and have more throughout the year. A lot of cool ideas are on the table at the moment, and an event in February that will be unlike anything around here.”
Travis has been able to land the help of “Unsheltered International”, and America’s First Federal Credit Union has been backing the races for Look Ahead for the past two years. Travis said their interest in growing with the Look Ahead Foundation will hopefully allow them to give prize money away at next year’s event.
It was a great day for everyone involved, beginner and experienced runners alike. Brenda Johnson, participant and employee of Wallace State Community College, talked about her family’s involvement and feelings as she crossed the finish line.
“We decided in about January to get healthy,” Johnson said. “This is our second one, and we even brought our grandma out here today. I teach at Wallace so I am all about this cause, and it feels good to round that corner and finish.”
At the award ceremony following the race, lots of great door prizes were given away from many local merchants like Bella Faire Day Spa, Werner’s Trading Company, Carmike Cinemas and many more. First, second and third prize medallions were given to the winners in each age division, which ranged from the very young to those 60 and older. Trophies were handed out to overall best times in the race as well.
If you would like to support the Look Ahead Foundation’s cause, please like them on Facebook, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org because everyone deserves the chance to chase their dreams.