The Arc of Shelby County to host first Arc & Soles 5K

Published 11:10 am Thursday, April 6, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – The Arc of Shelby County is preparing to host its first ever Arc & Soles 5K at the University of Montevallo.

The event is sponsored by the SouthWest Water Company and will be held on Saturday, April 22.

“We are thrilled to be hosting the first Arc & Soles 5K,” said Jennifer Ellison, director of development and community relations at The Arc of Shelby County. “We hope the community will come out to participate and help us raise funds for our programs and services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families.”

The 5K course is a road race that begins and ends at UM’s McChesney Student Activity Center. The course goes around the main campus and includes the University of Montevallo Lake, as well as the Student Retreat loop. The Arc & Soles 5K is stroller and pet friendly.

“The University of Montevallo is proud to host The Arc of Shelby County for this great event,” said DeAnna Smith, an Arc of Shelby County Board member and an instructor of accounting at UM. “The UM campus is the perfect place for a 5K and we are thrilled to support The Arc of Shelby County and their services. Many UM students have been involved with raising funds for and supporting The Arc of Shelby County for years, and we are happy to have such a wonderful partnership that benefits so many of our citizens in Shelby County.”

There will also be a 1-mile Fun Run, along with kid and family-friendly activities. The 1-Mile Fun Run will include the Student Retreat loop only.

Awards will be given during the event for Overall Male and Female Finishers, as well as top Masters Finisher and top Juniors Finisher.

“All of the proceeds from this event will help provide early intervention to hundreds of children in Shelby County, assist us with helping hundreds of adults with disabilities gain and maintain competitive employment, and help us continue to provide day program services to adults with intellectual disabilities at our New Visions Day Program in Calera,” Ellison said.

The event will also feature activities for attendees to enjoy such as a bounce house and face painting for kids. Participants will receive a t-shirt and goody bag.

During the event participants can bring their athletic shoes for donation. Arc & Soles is the Arc’s shoe recycling program that raises funds and provides work-based learning experiences for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

All proceeds from Arc & Soles and the Arc & Soles 5K will benefit The Arc of Shelby County’s programs and services which help more than 1,400 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities each year.

Registration for the Arc & Soles 5K can be found online at More information on The Arc of Shelby County can be found online at