Fifth annual Forging Families 5K/10K sees success

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2024

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – More than $12,000 was raised this year by participants and donators during the fifth annual Forging Families 5K/10K.

This year’s edition of the race was held on Saturday, Jan. 6 at Old Mill Square in Columbiana with a warmup in the Grande Hall of the Shelby County Arts Council.

“It was our best year yet,” Race Director Joel Dixon said.

The event featured a variety of options for participants, including a 5K, 10K and a 1 mile Fun Run as well as a sleeping special for people who wanted to support without running.

This year’s race marked the fifth year the event was held and saw 224 people register with $12,700 for the nonprofit Sacred Selections.

“Their mission is that they raise funds to assist Christian families with the cost associated with adoption,” Dixon said. “They’re not an adoption agency, they just work to assist families.”

Thanks to help from various volunteers, Dixon is also able to participate in the race itself after helping to organize it.

“It’s a good cause (that) had a diverse mix of people and Columbiana is a beautiful place and a good place to run,” Dixon said. “I think people had a good time.”

This year’s Forging Families 5K/10K also saw attendees from all over Alabama as well as from other states joining the race and helping the cause.

Dixon shared that he views the goal of the event each year as having multiple parts.

“For me, (the race) always been a three fold chord,” Dixon said. “First and foremost, I want to raise money for a good charity. Secondly, I want to bring visitors to the city of Columbiana because we love it here. And, it had been really successful this year, we had people from all over the state of Alabama but we also had people from Tennessee and Missouri and as far away as Texas.”

The very first Forging Families 5K/10K took place on Jan. 11, 2020 after Dixon was inspired to help a family in Columbiana to adopt a child.

“It really grew out of some good friends that had done an adoption,” Dixon said. “We watched the energy and effort they went into to try and help raise funds for the adoption. I saw the cost that they experienced and as they went they began their second adoption, I thought, ‘There are a lot of things I don’t know how to do (but) this is something I do know how to do.’”

Dixon then got permission from the family and Sacred Selections to put together the first event.

Each year, the event typically helps a specific family in the state with the organizers trying to pick a local one when possible. This year, proceeds went to help Justin and Karen Padgett of Moody.

“They actually just got their baby girl recently, so it’s kind of cool how it worked out,” Dixon said. “We always have somebody before the race begins, people know where it’s benefitting. This year, the Padgetts were actually able to be there.”

Although this year’s race is over, Dixon has already set the date for next year’s Forging Families 5K/10K.

“It gets a little bit bigger and a little bit better every year,” Dixon said. “We would encourage people, that haven’t taken the time, to check it out. It’s also a great way to start the new year.”

Those interested in learning more about next year’s race may visit and more information on Sacred Selections can be found at