This year’s TREK event — held annually to support St. Joseph Peace Mission for Children — will be in person Saturday starting at 7 a.m., though at a different location than years past. The 24th annual walk/run for charity will be held at Ben Hawes State Park.
A donation of $25 is encouraged, but not required to participate in the event. All donations will benefit the children at St. Joseph and Yewell Home for Boys. T-shirts will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis the day of the event.
Participants may register here or sign up the day of the event.
Officials decided to hold the event virtually last year due to rising COVID-19 cases. An active social media campaign ignited strong support from the community, and the nonprofit was able to surpass their $50,000 goal by raising a record-setting $63,000.
According to Development Director Bryson Morrow, TREK was originally founded by David Yewell, who began walking the 13-mile distance alone to celebrate and give thanks for another year of good health. After a few years of doing this on his own, Yewell was joined by friends and family, and it was soon turned into a benefit for a deserving charity — St. Joseph Peace Mission.
The family-friendly event took place in Calhoun for 22 years before the organization decided to change course and hold it in the City of Owensboro. COVID-19 protocols led officials to find a location with enough space to accommodate a large number of people comfortably.
“It was decided that TREK XXIV would be held at Ben Hawes Park in its totality,” Morrow said previously. “The event hub will be the pavilion area of the park, while the start and finish will be the entrance of that parking lot.”
Morrow expressed excitement about hosting the event in a large enough location to support TREK’s growth over time.
“We expect a good turnout to this year’s event, as most are chomping at the bit to get active again,” he said. “We know that this event will look different from years past, but it is important to us that we ensure our participants have a safe environment to gather in while also feeling that they are not at risk by being at our event.”
Though the course will look a little different this year, the race’s format will remain the same, Morrow said. The non-competitive race will be a fun social event that concludes with a free, picnic-style lunch.
TREK gives participants the opportunity to run, walk or bike the 13-mile course and is open to individuals and families of all ages and sizes.
All funds raised support the operations of the St. Joseph Peace Mission Emergency Shelter, Yewell Home for Boys, and Hayden Home for Girls. Each home provides mental health treatments, case management, individual and group therapy, nutrition education, social skill development, relationship building, daily living skills and academic guidance.
“Our homes provide a safe haven for children who have suffered trauma, abuse and neglect,” Morrow said. “The donations that are received from the free event legitimately keep our doors open for the most vulnerable children in the state of Kentucky.”