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Two groups join forces for Jacobus color run

Christopher Dornblaser
717-505-5436/@YDDornblaser

The Jacobus Lions Park will once again be covered in various different colors this year for Jacobus Lions Club's second Color 5K Fun Run, this time with a new partner.

The Jacobus Lions Club will host their Color Run 5K at Jacobus Park on April 9, 2016 this year.

This year the Jacobus Lions are teaming up with the Gift of Life organization for the color run, and they might just break their attendance record.

The event will kick off at 10 a.m. April 9 at the Jacobus Lions Park, 18 S. Main St., with the race starting at 11 a.m, and the whole event will finish at around 3 p.m.

New collaboration:  The Gift of Life organization is participating in memory of Zac Sweitzer and Rodney Miller, both firefighters who were killed by drunken drivers.

Usually the organization runs a 10K in honor of Zac, with a mile representing each organ donated after he died. This year they are joining forces with the Jacobus Lions for the color run instead.

Zac's mother, Missy Sweitzer, said the collaboration made sense, since the color run benefits local EMS companies and the two men were both volunteer firefighters.

“We thought, maybe we can combine it and collaborate together,” she said.

She said she wasn't sure the Lions Club would go for it, but she was pleasantly surprised.

"They welcomed us with open arms," she said.

Sweitzer hopes the new collaboration can bring an increase in attendance from the 700 that attended last year.

"I would love to see over a thousand runners this year," she said.

Sweitzer herself won't be running, but she and members of Gift of Life will have a booth shooting the color green at the runners.

"I'm gonna enjoy throwing color at people," she said, laughing.

The event: John Swords, volunteer with the Jacobus Lions Club, said the event will help benefit local ambulance services. He said the event draws out people of all ages and they can choose to walk or run during it. Last year the group raised $4,500 at the event.

Attendees will also be treated to food trucks, games and color "swag" during the day.

"It's just a really good, fun event," he said.

In true firefighter fashion, the race will start with dry-fire extinguishers filled with color, blasting at the participants.

“That puts color in the air and people can walk into it and through it if they want,” he said.

Even though the race starts at 11, Swords said a lot of people who couldn't make it for the start time showed up late just to complete the course.

“We start at 11, but last year we had some people who didn’t hit the course until almost noon,” he said.

Participants are encouraged to wear white as they get blasted with color on the 5K run.

Registration can be done at www.jacobus5kcolorfestival.com. Registration is $30 until the end of March and $40 leading up to the event.

The Jacobus Lions will be hosting a Color Run 5K on April 9, 2016.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com.