Twilight 5k raises $25K for The Literacy & Learning Center

Hundreds gathered at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park on Saturday for the annual Rotary Club of Highlands Twilight 5K Race.

Over 200 racers competed in the event, which is slightly less than last year, but it still managed to raise $25,000 to be given to The Literacy & Learning Center.

Over 200 runners took off from the starting line at the Rotary Club of Highlands Twilight 5k on Saturday at Founders Park.

Race Founder and Director Derek Taylor said Rotary Club of Highlands chooses the nonprofit recipients with the goal of supporting Highlands School and local youth activities.

The Twilight 5k route took racers past Harris Lake as they made their way through Highlands.

TLLC Executive Director Bonnie Potts said the funds raised will be used for free educational programs that include an after-school program, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the GED, and ESL program. 

“We are extremely grateful to Highlands Rotary for choosing us as the recipient of the Twilight 5k,” said Potts. “The Literacy Council was founded as a Rotary project, and we’re thrilled that we continue to grow through their support.” 

The route took runners full circle as the start and finish lines were located at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park.

Top overall male and female race finishers include William Whitaker from Colorado Springs, Col. with a time of 18:26, and Taylor Sherrill of Statesville N.C. who finished in 23:08.

Runners of all ages participated in the Twilight 5k to support The Literacy & Learning Center.

Taylor said the event is held each year for community togetherness, tourism, and to raise money for youth activities.

Marjorie Deal Christiansen put down her camera for a moment to help keep athletes hydrated at the finish line. Runners of appropriate age earned a complimentary beer courtesy of the Ugly Dog Pub in Highlands.

See full race results HERE.

Spalding McIntosh and the Lionhearts perform at Founders Park after the Twilight 5k Race.

Group of young racers after finishing the Rotary Club of Highlands Twilight 5k Race.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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