Fun run raises money for WPES sensory room

Runners line up for a quick start to the 5K Sensory Fun Run hosted Saturday evening in West Point. The run, organized by Lauren Godbee, was a fundraiser to implement a sensory room in West Point Elementary School. (Sherry Brown for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – The evening was aglow with neon, puzzle piece motifs and plenty of pump-up music Saturday, April 29, at West Point baseball field for the 5K Sensory Fun Run to help raise funds for a sensory room at West Point Elementary School. Runners of all ages, sizes and abilities donned glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets to light up the night for autism awareness.

Lauren Godbee, organizer of the event, expressed her gratitude. “I can’t wait to show you all the sensory room at West Point Elementary School once completed. This room will be a great asset to all children within the school!” Godbee said she was blown away by the support, saying that once the word got out about the event, the number of registered racers went up from 21 to 47 in just one evening.

Dozens of runners and walkers alike assembled at the starting line and pushed off hard after the countdown. Race participants weaved through the baseball park track seamlessly, with some laughing as they walked, others in fierce competition with sneakers hitting the pavement in hopes of bringing home the glory of first place.

First-place overall and 30-year-old division winner was Ross Lewis. Second-place overall and ages 11-19 winner was Connor Robinson. Third-place overall and ages 10 and under winner was Abram Hill. Fourth-place overall and 20-year-old division winner was Jessica Widner. Fifth-place overall and 50 and up winner was Terry Lowry. Sixth-place overall and 40-year-old division winner was Cindy Phillips.

Godbee hinted at the possibility of the Fun Run becoming an annual event focused on autism awareness and fundraising for every school to have a sensory room. “We had just planned on doing this as a one-off, but it was so successful and many of the runners have asked about making it an annual thing!”

For more information on how you can help fund the implementation of a sensory room at West Point Elementary School, or for support and resources for those with or caring for those with special needs, contact Godbee at 256-303-7877.