A total of 510 runners and walkers came together Dec. 12 to raise funds for charities during the 12th annual Jingle bell Run in Shelby Township.

A total of 510 runners and walkers came together Dec. 12 to raise funds for charities during the 12th annual Jingle bell Run in Shelby Township.

Photo provided by Michael Ward

Shelby Township Jingle Bell Run raises over $15,000 for charities

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 12, 2022


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The annual Jingle Bell Run made its way to Shelby Township once again Dec. 12.

With 510 runners and walkers — an all-time record — and donations to charities of more than $15,000, the event was a success and a lot of fun.

The 12th annual 5K run/walk was held once again at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive in Shelby Township. The center was the site of both the starting line and the finish line.

The event benefited the Penrickton Center for Blind Children, Macomb County Special Olympics and Cat Tail Acres, which cares for feral and unwanted cats.

There were raffles, snacks, free coffee and hot chocolate, and awards for the top male and female runners, the top master male and female runners, and the top senior master male and female runners.

Lori Sanborn, who lives in Richmond, went with her 85-year-old mom, Rosie McQuiston, who is from Shelby Township.

“I had the honor of wearing the ‘Number 1’ entry tag this year. I’ve been running for over 43 years, and (race organizer) Mike (Ward) must’ve thought it was time,” Sanborn said via email.

She said Ward is one of the best race organizers in the state, and the result of his hard work is evident in the number of volunteers, sponsors, awards and participants.

“This race was amazing, as the course was invigorating and tough, replete with trails and hills. It raised a ton of needed money for several local charities, including the Michigan Special Olympics. Mike and his wife, Debbie, are very involved in helping our community. As a matter of fact, when I spoke with Mike the following week about another race, he was on his way to a Special Olympics basketball game in which he sponsored the luncheon,” she said.

She said she has been running the Jingle Bell Run since it began, and it has become one of her favorite races.

“I coach cross country/Track and Field (Junior and Senior high) up here in Memphis, Michigan, and have brought a few of my runners to partake. I’m hoping to get more of them for the next December race,” she said.

Sanborn said she usually wins her age group (60-plus) with times averaging around 25-27 minutes, although she was beaten by a few seconds this year.

“I will be back, Lord-willing, to retake that top spot. Nonetheless, Mike recognized me for continued support over the years with a beautiful plaque, which now sits in my ‘trophy room,’” she said.

Sanborn said her mom had a great time and hopes to be back. The Wards were very kind to her and “he even gave her an extra commemorative T-shirt,” she said.

Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth also joined in on the fun with his dog.

“My dog Liberty and I appreciate the effort by Mike Ward and his team to raise money for charities and to give us a chance to run in a first-class event,” he said in an email.

Call Staff Writer Kara Szymanski at (586) 498-1029.