BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Four city service groups in Fort Madison are cooking up something again for the Elliott Test Kitchen.
On April 6, beginning at 8 p.m., the second annual Glo 5K Crazy for Education at the Baxter Sports Complex will be hosted by the Fort Madison Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and Fort Madison High School’s Key Club.
Last year’s event raised close to $3,800 for educational programs at the Test Kitchen, located in downtown Fort Madison.
Shirley Hoenig, of Fort Madison Kiwanis, approached the service clubs in 2017 about the idea of the 5K.. She said last year’s event went very well.
“The Glo Crazy for Education committee felt that things went very smoothly last year considering it was our first year and none of us had been involved in planning a 5k before,” she said.
“This year we have made plans to improve lighting along 48th street and at the start/finish line. We’re really excited about the project that Michael Mohrfeld, owner of Mohrfeld Electric, and Nathan Harter, Key Club and Robotics Club member, are working on.”
Hoenig said the goal of the clubs is too see the event grow each year and generate substantial funding for the Test Kitchen and it’s growing student base.
“This year they are working with about 200 students in after-school and weekend sessions. Meals are served after all sessions and this takes money,” she said.
The Elliott Test Kitchen is an innovative student-driven program in downtown Fort Madison. Director Kumar Wickramasingha, provides a environment for learning with up-to-date technology and support from teachers in the Fort Madison public and private school systems.
“Kumar recently spoke about his home in Sri Lanka and how education is important because this is the main way for young people to work towards getting out of poverty. The United States is a very rich country but education is still very vital in helping our young people succeed in their lives,” Hoenig said.
Programs center around ACT exam prep, robotics labs, STEM projects and homework assistance. During sessions at the Test Kitchen, students also learn to prepare and serve full meals under the direction of Kumar, who is a renowned chef and former restaurateur.
The 2018 run was the first year for the combined service group effort to put the event on. Close to 150 runners came out for the run that starts at the sports complex and running along the P.O.R.T. trails east to Ivanhoe Park where runners loop around the park and then head north to Bluff Road, turning west to 48th Street down to a loop at Fort Madison Middle School and back to the sports complex property.
The path and finish are line are illuminated with lights in bags and LED lights. This year a new lit finish line is being constructed for even more flare as runners make their way across the finish line.
Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each division.
Those interested in the run can register at www.pencitycurrent.com/2019glorun/ or visit the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Glocrazyforeducation/ for a printable registration form.