The Covington Police Department’s 32nd annual Fuzz Run is on Saturday, September 12, 2015. The Fuzz Run includes a 5K Road Race, 1 mile Run/Walk, and Mary Beth’s Redbird Run. The 5K Road Race was previously voted “Best Race in Georgia” by runners participating in the “Run and See Georgia Grand Prix Series.” The course runs through beautiful Covington past homes and businesses used in popular TV shows and movies. It is one of the largest participatory events held annually in Covington and attracts approximately 3,000 runners, walkers, and spectators.
Each year the Fuzz Run Committee picks a person or a special group to receive a portion of its proceeds. The 2015 Fuzz Run Committee has nominated Graham, an 8 year old boy who needs surgery to lengthen his leg, as their humanitarian fund recipient for this year’s Fuzz Run.
At the age of 2 years, Graham was one out 100,000 people diagnosed with a rare bone disease. At the age of 5 years, he had surgery to straighten his leg. Currently, the disease is affecting his growth plate where his femur and knee meet causing him to have a short left leg. A donation based on the number of people who register for the race will be given to help with Graham’s medical expenses.
During the September 12th event and new this year, there will be an age 5 and under dash called the Mary Beth’s Redbird Run. The dash is named in memory of the daughter of Captain Ken Malcom and Cindi Malcom of Newton County. Mary Beth died in 2006 at 5 years old. The Covington Police Department helps maintain the playground equipment at Mary Beth’s Place and the Chase Cain Soccer Field, both at the YMCA’s Outdoor Center on Stone Road.
Come out and support us! The one mile Fuzz Run will start at 8 am followed by the Mary Beth’s Redbird Run at 8:15 am. The 5K Fuzz Run Race will start at 8:30 am.
For those interested, you can register online at www.active.com, www.zuluracing.com, or www.covingtonpolice.com. An entry form can also be completed and mailed to: The Covington Police Who Care, P.O. Box 598, Roswell, Georgia 30077. An alternate option is to register in person by 8:15 am on the day of the race.
To help promote the race, there are a series of videos that can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Covington-Fuzz-Run. This year the Covington Police Department wants runners to take Gopro videos during the race. There will be a table to download the videos and the department will then edit and post the shared videos on their website at www.covingtonfuzzrun.com.
The Covington Fuzz Run was established by Captain Willie Davis at the direction of Chief Bobby Moody in 1983. Like today, it included a one mile fun run and a 5K road race with funds going to the Covington Police Who Care (PWC) Fund. Initially, the PWC Funds were used to help Covington Police Officers with medical bills and other financial difficulties. But, the Fuzz Run did not make any money because there weren’t always such large crowds. For three years early proceeds were donated to the construction of the Public Safety Memorial at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. In the mid-1990s, participation dropped to around 50 runners and the race was almost discontinued.
After the Department’s newly developed Community Outreach Division took over the planning and began promoting the event through the media sources and through its county wide D.A.R.E. program, popularity increased. The race quadrupled in size the following year and continued to grow. The 25th anniversary Fuzz Run reached an all time participation record of 2,641 runners and walkers. Today, an average of 2,300 runners participate annually in the Fuzz Run.
With increased popularity, the charitable use of funds raised has evolved to continue the humanitarian vision of Covington Police Officer Frank Hilton. The Fund has become more philanthropic in nature by providing monies for many worthwhile causes, supporting community projects, and providing financial aid and assistance to employees and others with legitimate needs. Annually, the fund contributes to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Special Olympics, YMCA, Project ReNeWal, the Miracle League, Shop with a Cop, and a number of other charities. In addition, the Fund makes a $300 contribution to the beneficiaries of every Georgia law enforcement officer who is either killed or dies in the line of duty.