By Emily West, Correspondent
The United Methodist Church of Belton put on their annual 4G 5K Walk Run Race this week in support of Building Smiles, the ongoing local efforts to raise funds to complete construction on the Body of Christ Community Clinic’s (BoCCC) new dental clinic. Nearly 100 racers lined up in the town’s Confederate Park on Saturday morning to “Get up, Get outside, Get moving, for God.” It was a beautiful morning for Belton locals of all ages to come together and race in support of BCCC’s expressed mission “to provide basic health care services to persons in the Greater Belton and Salado Area of Texas and who have no health insurance, inadequate health insurance or no means to obtain basic health care services.”
At the latest function of Building Smiles, BCC’s dental clinic fundraising campaign, BCC’s board chairman John Perry informed the community that 14 local churches were actively supporting the construction of the dental clinic, and he thanked them all warmly. Building Smiles is not the only charity that First United Methodist Church of Belton actively supports, however. From their annual Bed Races in support of the local chapter of Family Promise, a nationwide initiative to end homelessness, and their active college student ministry, First Methodist embodies what it means to serve.
When asked what else the members of the community could do to contribute to Building Smiles, Perry replied: “They can always make donations to our organizations, because we’re still trying to raise funds for our dental clinic. The other thing we need is volunteers. You don’t have to be a medical or dental professional to volunteer. We need people to help in registration, and we desperately need Spanish-to-English translators… but if the members of this community do nothing else for us, please pray.”
“We love running races, and this is a great way to help out the city, you know, so we came out. And we’re glad we did! It’s so beautiful out!” said Jenna, a student at Belton high school who came out with a few of her friends. Racers ran up the hike and bike trail from Confederate Park to 9th street, and crossed Nolan Creek to return to the park on the opposite side. The overall winner, Michael Garcia, finished with a time of 23:28, and locked in the top spot for the 35-39 age group. Additional first-placers, age groups, and times are as follows: Emily Gist, 13-19, 29:25; Alecia Jarett, 20-24, 25:15; Tesseineil Wiggins, 25-29, 27:34; Chris Souder, 30-34, 24:54; Amy Taylor, 40-44, 31:13; Eugene Presta, 45-49, 32:57; and Andrew Eller, 50-54, 26:38.