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March 6, 2014

Breathe Run set for March 16

TIFTON — The second annual Breathe Run & Family Fun Day will be held March 16 at Heritage Church in Moultrie, from 3 to 6 p.m.

The run will benefit Breathe Ministry at the church, which works with special needs children and adults from all over South Georgia. All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase a handicap-accessible van for use by Breathe.

Breathe is a ministry started by Moultrie resident and Heritage Church member Nettie Hatcher, who has a daughter with special needs. Through an experience where her daughter's needs were not met, she felt the need to step up and do something.

"I felt like, if I don't do it, no one else will," she said. Hatcher went to her pastor at Heritage four years ago and shared with him her desire that families with special needs children be ministered to, and that she wanted to do something to help.

She was given the green light, and the ministry has blossomed into not only a Sunday ministry, but an outreach that has built the Breathe Center, which has a state-of-the-art sensory room. In addition to working with the children, Hatcher said Breathe provides respite care on a quarterly basis, as well as classes and resources for the parents.

There's something for everyone at this event, including a walk/run for 1 mile for those 14 years old and younger at a cost of $20. For those 15 years and up, the walk/run is $25. There's also a 5K for those 14 and under for $25, and a 5K for those 15 and up for $30.

In addition, there's an obstacle run for 14 and under for $25, and for 15 and up, the cost is $30. The 10K for 14 years and younger is $25, while those 15 and up will pay $30.

The cost to participate in each activity goes up $5 after March 13.

"Our goal this year is to raise enough money to purchase a van," she said. "This van will be used to transport families back and forth to church, field trips for Breathe participants and doctor appointments."

Hatcher said the event will feature a Celebration Walk by all of the supporters and runners.

"Last year, over 500 people walked with about 100 people with disabilities. It was amazing to see people who struggle to put one foot in front of the other, people on walkers and in wheelchairs walk this mile," she said. "We will have live music, karaoke, a hay ride, face painting, dunking booths, a rock climbing wall and much more for our families to enjoy at no charge."

Hatcher added the event will kick off Mega Impact Week, during which the Heritage Church campus will be "invaded" by ore than 100 University of Tennessee students, who will spend the week helping to build 15 wheelchair ramps at local homes. They will also help build sensory boards for the Breathe Center.

Registration begins at 2 p.m. The 5K, 10K and obstacle runs will begin at 3 p.m, and the 1-mile fun run is at 4:30 p.m. Awards will be presented to the top three male and female in each age group.

Those who participate in the 5K or 10K are invited to walk the 1-mile with the children and adults with special needs who benefit from Breathe.

You can obtain registration forms and information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BreatheMinistry. You can also register online at www.active.com. For more information, contact Hatcher at nettie@heritagelife.org, or call 229-891-3421.

The church is located at 674 Georgia Highway 33 South. Registration closes March 15.

To contact editor Angye Morrison, call 382-4321.

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