Running is the perfect way to squeeze some exercise into your day, but it’s even better when you are running for a good cause. The Turlock Chaplaincy will soon be hosting their annual Fun Run, giving the community an opportunity to not only convene with friends for a healthy activity, but also raise funds for the chaplaincy program.
Turlock Chaplaincy is a volunteer, non-profit organization that has been in place for about 13 years, said Chaplaincy Board Member Larry Chalupnik. Initially, the program began to provide stress debriefing and spiritual, emotional counseling to first responders and their families who have suffered loss. The organization trains its chaplains in critical incident stress management to help in the aftermath of tragic incidents.
“Our job is to be there for citizens when they have suffered a loss and don’t know what to do or who to turn to,” said Chalupnik. “People involved in public safety face unbelievable tragedies.”
Three years ago, the Turlock Chaplaincy expanded their program into the Turlock Unified School District’s elementary and junior high schools, providing character coaches on campuses to help children who have recently lost a loved one or may feel isolated. Today, there are close to 50 volunteer character coaches throughout schools in TUSD, and the Turlock Chaplaincy recently helped Keyes start their own charter of coaches for their schools.
“The character coaches are there for kids who may be alone and need someone to talk to,” said Chalupnik. “They’re not there to press religion, they’re there to help people.”
The annual Fun Run has been in place for nearly a decade, and all proceeds from the event benefit the Turlock Chaplaincy to help provide training, uniforms and other needs the organization may have. Those who are unable to race but would like to make a difference are encouraged to donate to the Turlock Chaplaincy through their Facebook page or website, www.turlockchaplaincy.org.
The Turlock Chaplaincy Fun Run will take place at 9 a.m. April 8 at Denair Park in Turlock, 850 E. Main St.
To run in the one mile race, it is $10 to pre-register and $15 to register on the day of the race, and the 5k or 10k is $25 to pre-register and $30 to register on the day of the race. Runners of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate and all finishers will receive a medal.