Color run to benefit shooting victims

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

The weekend of the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival is going to be a busy one in Elkin, from pumpkin festival events slated throughout the day, to the old-fashioned day events at Stone Mountain State Park, people will have a variety of activities in which to take part.

Those looking for a way to get some exercise, have some fun, meet some celebrities and support three local families can gather at Elkin Municipal Park Sept. 26 for a benefit color run being managed by Sports Ministries. The event is the brainchild of Elkin resident Anthony Parigi, who met Sports Ministries CEO Danny Todd when he volunteered as on-site celebrity at some of Todd’s other benefit events.

When Parigi, who was cast for a season on CMT’s reality show Redneck Island, learned of the tragic shooting in June which affected three families in the Ronda/Jonesville area of Wilkes County, he decided to organize an event to raise money to benefit those families.

Todd said this week 83 people have registered at this point for the color run, which he said is designed as a fun run rather than a traditional 5K. To make the event special, those participating will travel through a series of areas where they will be “colored” in different shades of the rainbow, so the outcome is a tie-dye effect.

“We normally have a lot more show up the day of,” Todd said of the final numbers expected for the color run. “We expect about 150 people to come out. We want to encourage everyone to come out for the meet and greets with the celebrities.”

In July, Parigi said he had 18 celebrities from shows like Redneck Island and Party Down South confirmed for the event, which will be held at the bandshell at Elkin Municipal Park.

“It’s an eighth of a mile track around the park, and we’re going to be doing that. If they want to make it a 5K, it is four laps around,” said Todd. “It is more about coming together as a community and having fun and raising money for the families involved in the incident that happened.”

Sports Ministries, based in Mississippi, has never done an event outside of the state, so Todd said this will be a learning experience for him, his wife and the two volunteers coming with him to Elkin. He said a lot of people in the community have volunteered to help as well, so they will be relying on them to assist.

“After the color run, we are going to have a paint party,” he said. “Any individual who is in the color run or who wants to just be part of the paint party can buy a paint packet and we get in a big group, say a prayer for the family and we’ll throw up the paint in the area and a huge paint cloud will move across the property. It is neat to witness.”

John Tart, a Season 4 cast member of Redneck Island with Parigi, will be DJ for the day’s event.

“Hopefully everyone will have a good family-oriented time that day,” said Todd.

He is hoping events like the Pumpkin Festival, which organizers were unaware was scheduled for the same day when the event was created, will help draw some participants to the park.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a huge turnout and we can raise a lot of money for them,” said Todd.

The cost to participate in the color run is $30 per person for a team of five or more people, or $40 for an individual. Registration will be at noon, with the run to begin at 1 p.m. The event should end around 4 p.m. Meet and greets will be from 1 to 4 p.m.

On the morning of June 22, gunman James Barrett terrorized a neighborhood of North River Ridge Road during the early morning until nearly noon. After injuring Kent Suddreth at his home, Barrett shot neighbor Zach Myers as he drove by the home. Barrett also fired upon several police vehicles, an AirCare helicopter and a police SUV carrying Sgt. Steven Russell, who received a shrapnel wound to his shoulder. All victims have recovered from the injuries, but Suddreth’s home and all of his family’s possessions were destroyed in a fire Barrett set using a gallon of gasoline and matches.

For more information on the color run, or to register, visit

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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