NEW ULM - On Dec. 1, you could be simply freezing. Or, you could be "freezin' for a reason."
The Jingle Bell Jam 5K Walk/Run will take place Saturday, Dec. 1, starting at 10 a.m., at the New Ulm Recreation Center at 122 S. Garden St. Packet pick-up starts at 7:45 a.m. and continues until the event starts.
In a new twist, the run, originally started by the Heart of New Ulm (HONU), is being taken over by the Brown County Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention program, according to New Ulm Police Commander David Borchert, an activist of the Yellow Ribbon program.
Why the change?
HONU started these events for community fitness and health reasons, explains Borchert. They promote people being active. For the long-term, HONU wants community groups to take over these types of programs, for a collaborative effort of community ownership.
HONU is still part of the event and will serve as the primary sponsor for the event, adds Borchert.
Why the Yellow Ribbon?
Communication between the two community programs about the event began accidentally, during the New Ulm Day of Play on the campus of Martin Luther College this fall, as Borchert ran into HONU representatives, and the topic came up.
The idea was floated, and, thanks to fortunate timing, Borchert was able to take it to a Yellow Ribbon board meeting scheduled soon after.
The Yellow Ribbon program had had some experience in putting together a run - the Breaking the Ice run by Sleepy Eye lake last spring. Encouraged by that experience and assured of HONU's full support, its board decided to have a go at the Jingle Bell Jam.
The event is "a good match" for the group, fitting in well its mission and goals, notes Borchert. Keeping physically and mentally fit can potentially help alleviate symptoms of depression, which in itself can be a contributing factor in suicides.
All walkers and runners are encouraged to attend the Jingle Bell Jam, said Borchert. Medals will be awarded for top finishers and age and gender categories.
To make the event more fun, costumes and large groups are encouraged. Business and employers are encouraged to join, and there will be recognition and prizes for largest groups, best holiday costumes, etc.
T-shirts are guaranteed to everyone registered by Nov. 19. Registration is at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, New Ulm Rec Center, online at browncomnyellowribbon.com, or via mail (mail in form and check to Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention, Attn. Pam Burdorf, POB 116, New Ulm, MN 56073).
Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for students.
All proceeds will go to Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention.