Date set for OLJ 5K Walk/Run in Montevallo

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – A memorial 5K will soon be held in Montevallo’s Orr Park in commemoration of the late Ora Lee Jones.

The OLJ Memorial 5K Walk/Run will take place on Saturday, May 6 at 8 a.m. and is hosted by the Ora L. Jones Memorial Foundation. Ora Lee Jones was a native of Montevallo who passed away in 2011.

“Each year, we honor our mother’s memory by donating scholarships to deserving high school students,” said Mike Jones who is a member of the board of directors for the foundation.

The Ora L. Jones Memorial Foundation’s Board of Directors are comprised of members of Ora L. Jones’ family.

“During her life, our mother demonstrated a commitment to the community through acts of service,” Jones said. “Throughout her life, she was a champion for children throughout the community.  She was employed at the University of Montevallo where she touched the lives of many students. She was also the First Lady of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Wilton, Alabama for 36 years and the former president of the Lillie Star District Association.

“One of the most notable characteristics of Mrs. Jones was her passion for people. Not only was she a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother, she was a community builder. She was determined to make an indelible impact upon all individuals through acts of kindness to her community.”

Since her death, the family has continued her legacy by supporting students on their educational journey by giving more than $70,000 in scholarships to student from Shelby, Jefferson, Chilton and Bibb counties.

“It is an absolute joy to see people participate in the OLJ 5k and donate to the OLJ Foundation,” Jones said. “To see people from various cultures and backgrounds coming together in the community for a common cause is what she was all about. It is a great tribute to our mom to have numerous students supported with scholarships because she didn’t have the opportunity to go to college.”

During this year’s run, the organization is hoping to raise $10,000 in funds to aid local college students.

“With the cost of college continuing to rise, we would like to make this contribution to make it easier for students,” Jones said. “Our goal is to again have 10 scholarship winners this year. Our past OLJ scholars have come from diverse backgrounds and  experiences. One of the unique characteristics of an OLJ scholar is their willingness to one day use their education to pay it forward and make a difference in the community which they all describe in a required essay.”

The early-bird registration for the race is $25 and lasts until April 14. Afterward, registration is $35.

Those who wish to sign up for the run, donate or learn more may visit