OPC’s 5K Run or Walk for Meals celebrates 10th year

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 1, 2016


ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Thousands of people will lace up their running shoes and hit the trails June 4 to support the Older Persons’ Commission’s Meals on Wheels program.

Matthew Spierling, head of health and wellness at OPC, said the purpose of the 5K Run or Walk for Meals, now in its 10th year, is to encourage the community to get active while raising money for Meals on Wheels.

“This year is kind of special because we are making a special announcement on the day of the event about OPC’s future,” Spierling said.

The race and walk, which are open to people of all ages, begin at 8 a.m. at the OPC, 650 Letica Drive. The course starts at the OPC in the upper parking lot, goes down Letica, turns left on the Clinton River Trail almost to Dequindre, then loops back and finishes at the OPC.

The event is chip-timed, with awards in different age groups. Spierling said the race typically draws over 700 people.

The proceeds from the race go toward the OPC’s Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to homebound seniors in nine communities — Auburn Hills, Brandon Township, Independence Township, Lake Orion, Oxford, Addison Township, Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township — seven days a week.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to Meals on Wheels for seniors in the community. We raise anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000. We are hoping this is our biggest year ever and that we can raise up into the $40,000 range,” Spierling explained.

Every $5 earned provides a meal for a homebound senior, OPC Nutrition Manager Becky Wuornos said. Last year, OPC’s Meals on Wheels program provided over 92,000 home-delivered meals to homebound seniors.

“We just want to make sure that the seniors get a nutritious meal, and this is a great way to do that and to showcase and educate people on how important it is — especially when seniors are in their home alone and they cannot cook for themselves,” Wuornos said.

Wuornos acknowledged that the program wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of OPC staff, the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of the community to help with funding.

To register for the race, visit www.eastsideracingcompany.com.

For more information, contact Matt Spierling at matthew spierling@opcseniorcenter.org or at (248) 659-1021.