Annual Walk for Christ finds success in Pelham with new additions

Published 11:52 am Thursday, April 11, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Walk For Christ made its return to the city of Pelham this year with an even bigger version of the annual event—featuring more opportunities for community fellowship, family fun and friendly competition.

Pelham Strong hosted the Walk For Christ and 5K with Home Run Derby on Saturday, April 6 at Pelham City Park with a number of activities for the local community to participate in.

“It was a huge success,” Pelham Strong Director Melissa Hull said. “Between the 5K, 1-mile fun run and the baseball competitions, we estimate approximately 500 people showed up.”

The event was organized by Pelham Strong and presented with support from the Kiwanis Club of Shelby County and the Liberty Learning Foundation. The Riverchase Church of Christ served as a title sponsor for the event which included a 5K race at 8 a.m. and a one-mile fun run at 9 a.m.

“Last year we focused on just the Walk For Christ,” Hull said. “This year we added the 5K and partnered with the Pelham Parks & Recreation (Department) to bring fun and exciting baseball hitting/home run derby competitions.”

The event saw 50 baseball players from 6U to 12U participate in the event and 16 men, ages 18 plus, compete in a home run derby contest before concluding with the Pelham Fire Department facing off against the Pelham Police Department.

“We are hearing the FD and PD want a rematch with the same two people from each department next year,” Hull said. “The FD won 9 to 8, but it was a hard fought battle.”

The following individuals won the home-run derbies during the event:

  • 6U – Landon Sasser
  • 8U – Evan Ross Steward
  • 10U – Rodrigo Garcia
  • 12U – Josh Lubsen
  • 18 plus – Casey Gramer

All proceeds from the Walk For Christ were used as donations for the Liberty Learning Foundation, which serves as a nonprofit educational organization that focuses on the facilitation of civics and character-based programs for students in K-12 classrooms.

Pelham Strong is a non-profit organization that was formed on Aug. 25, 2021 by co-founders Rick Wash and Chad Leverett. The nonprofit works in the community by continually hosting various events.

“The goal of Pelham Strong is to unite the city by planning community-oriented events and bringing residents together,” Hull said. “It’s about bringing people together and providing a brief period of time where people of all ages can enjoy themselves. People can laugh and smile and just be around other people enjoying themselves.”

Hull said she hopes the events that Pelham Strong holds are something that people look forward to and that they leave thinking about how about how fun it was and how they can’t wait for next year.

“We hope they add to the sense of pride we all have for the city of Pelham,” she said. “And, we hope things like this bring families closer together.”

A hope that seems to have already come true as Hull shared that one of the participants in the 18 plus home run derby said his son had never seen him play baseball competitively.

“This is all they have talked about since his son saw him hitting those baseballs one after another over the fence,” she said. “Just a great opportunity for families to bond together even more.”

Pelham Strong is planning to work with Pelham Parks & Recreation for next year’s edition of the Walk For Christ to incorporate more spring sports than baseball and the organization is also trying to start a bicycle rodeo in the future.

Pelham Strong is also awarding scholarships to graduating seniors from Pelham. The organization has two $1,000 scholarship opportunities with one for a senior attending a two or four year college for a degree and one for a student who will be attending a traditional or vocational school.