By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
Saturday morning started off with good weather, a clear sky and a nice run along Nolan Creek as the Belton First United Methodist Church held their 3rd Annual 4G 5K run/walk to benefit the Body of Christ Community Clinic (BOCCC) in Belton.
All of the funds raised at the event go to help the clinic, which is staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses and dentists who offer medical and dental care to patients who are otherwise unable to afford these services.
“We wanted to do a fundraiser for somebody and not just for the church,” explained Elizabeth Smith, the Business Manager at Belton First United Methodist Church.
The volunteers’ mission at the clinic is to “carry out the compassionate healing ministry of Christ by providing personalized, quality health services to the medically underserved of the greater Belton and Salado area,” according to their website.
“The run is in memory of Carolyn Martin, one of the church members who was left handicapped from a brain tumor,” explained Smith. “She wasn’t able to volunteer and do a lot of the stuff that she wanted to do. In her career, she was a nurse. Unfortunately she passed away right before the first race, so we decided to do it in memory of her. If she hadn’t been handicapped from the remnants of her brain tumor, she would have volunteered with the Body of Christ. They were the perfect organization to choose to fundraise for.”
The Body of Christ clinic is something the First United Methodist Church is in great support of, as they also have a member on the board.
“I want (the race) to be successful for the Body of Christ because I feel that that’s a very important thing that we’re doing,” Smith added.
Since opening their doors in 2010, the Body of Christ Community Clinic has had over 6,000 patient visits and have increased their hours of operation from three hours per week up to 15 hours per week. They have also added several services, such as dental hygiene, women’s health, diabetic clinic, physical therapy, and counseling. They now have a full-time Executive Director as well as three part-time employees with nearly 100 volunteers. As the donations and funds increase for the clinic, they have hopes of becoming a full-time clinic that will be able to provide service to more of the community.