Downtown Dash co-chair Elizabeth Griffin gives us the inside scoop on the Junior League of Little Rock’s Downtown Dash held Saturday April 8th at 8:30 AM.
How does the Downtown Dash compliment JLLR’s mission + core values?
Improving the lives of women and children, specifically by promoting wellness and education, is the very base of the Junior League’s mission and Downtown Dash provides an opportunity to do exactly that. Our race has become a family race by adding the Kids 1K Fun Run in 2016 and we have further developed it over the years to include family friendly activities located in the Junior League parking lot following the race. This year our sustainers have been so gracious to sponsor a group of kids from The Boys & Girls Club to be able to run in the race. Downtown Dash also raises money to fund the Junior League’s many projects in the community (i.e. Boosters and Big Rigs, KOTA Camp, Little Readers Rock, Nightingales, Nonprofit Board Institute, JLLR Nonprofit Center, PARK Partnership, and Stuff The Bus). It’s through these projects that the Junior League is able to carry out our mission.
What makes the race unique?
The route of the race is in the heart of the city, downtown, which is also where the Junior League building is located (on the corner of 4th and Scott St). The Little Rock skyline will be the design on the t-shirts this year.
Downtown Dash also includes the whole family by offering the 1K Fun Run for kids in addition to the 5K/10K races.
How can parents get their kids involved?
By adding the Kids 1K Fun Run, the Junior League has provided a way for kids and their families to all participate in the Downtown Dash together. This race also creates an opportunity to motivate kids and adults to be active by training for the event each year. Older children and more experienced runners are invited to run the 5K/10K races. Parents can also facilitate participation in the race by having their kids cheer at the finish line for friends and other family members. Once the race is over, kids and their families are encouraged to take advantage of activities located in the Junior League parking lot. These activities include, but are not limited to, a mystery wall provided by the Mystery Mansion, a bounce house, face painting, a putting green from First Tee and other ball toss games, a firetruck from LRFD, and Play Time Pizza’s mascot, Pete Za, will be handing out giveaways.
Any surprises this year?
This year Isabeller Moller from KARK/FOX16 will be our emcee and AJ from 106.7 The Ride will be our DJ broadcasting live from the event and providing the music. We’ve added a tech t-shirt option for VIP registrants, a medal for all racers, including children, and one complimentary beer for all registered runners over the age of 21. An I.D. will be required in order to take advantage of this perk.
What do you LOVE most about the course?
The course is my favorite part about the event. I live downtown at Tuf Nut Lofts, so I’m very connected to the area and am invested in making the downtown community better. The course highlights some historical landmarks like the Arts Center, MacArthur Park, and the Clinton Presidential Library and takes runners by the River Market area, which exudes energy. I actually run a modified version of this route when I exercise outside.
What do you LOVE most about JLLR?
The Junior League has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and has given me the opportunity to gain new skills. I have had the pleasure of learning from a diverse group of women that work in other industries, which has made me more well rounded and given me more tools to positively impact my community. It’s amazing what can be accomplished by a group of women really putting their heads together to come up with ways to improve parts of the city and grow projects, which ultimately fund and sustain the Junior League, so that we can continue to serve the community and the people within it.