Eastpointe Odd Fellows group plans 5K on cruise day

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 10, 2016

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EASTPOINTE — Before the Eastpointe Cruisin’ Gratiot event June 18, the Eastwood Odd Fellows club is going to hold a 5K walk/run to help raise money for local charities.

Event co-chairman Charlie Brown said this is the first time the Odd Fellows have put together a 5K event, after learning about a successful race held in Detroit that was sponsored by Mexican Village Restaurant.

“We were thinking that there’s no reason we can’t do something like that here,” Brown said.

Brown said they are aiming for roughly 100 people, but they also hope to raise money through the 5K to help with their charitable donations and programs. Brown said fraternal organizations across the country have been struggling with membership and fundraising, and that this is a new idea to help locally.

Care House, Macomb County Meals on Wheels and the East Detroit High School endowment fund are some of the organizations that the Odd Fellows are trying to get money to help, he said.

Registration for the run costs $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 10-18. Those younger than 10 may enter for free, Brown said. Registration can be done online at www.eastsideracingcompany.com or on the day of the event, starting at 8 a.m., at the Odd Fellows lodge, located at 22322 Gratiot Ave. Day-of registration will cost $25.

The 5K itself will start at 9 a.m., Brown said, at the Odd Fellows lodge. Participants will then go down Stephens Road close to Kelly before looping back to Semrau and finishing at the lodge. Fruit and drinks should be available after the run, and water will be available along the route.

“It’s more of a fun run than a serious (event) — we’ll have people walking, we’ll have people running,” Brown said. “We’re going to have people riding bikes — bike riders to keep people in line and tell them where to go.”

Participants in the 5K will all be entered into a raffle that will be drawn after all the participants have finished. Prizes will include Detroit Tigers tickets and gift cards.

Brown said the group actually received approval from the Michigan Department of Transportation to hold the 5K on Gratiot itself, using the Cruisin’ Gratiot dedicated cruise lane prior to that event starting. It was too short of notice for the Eastpointe Police Department to be prepared for the 5K, but Brown believes that should the 5K come back next year, they could use Gratiot as the new route.

The Eastpointe City Council approved the 5K route and plan during its May 3 meeting. During the meeting, Mayor Suzanne Pixley threw her support behind the event.

“I’m very excited about the Odd Fellows (5K),” Pixley said. “This is just going to be one more addition to the cruise.”

Deputy Police Chief Eric Kaiser also spoke at the meeting and said organizers hope to get students on the East Detroit High School track and baseball teams to participate.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Eastwood-Odd-Fellows-496.