On December 7, over 200 people from Mint Hill and beyond gathered at Veterans Park for Mint Hill’s annual Jingle all the Way 5K.
The park was buzzing with festive anticipation as the crowd prepared for the race. Local celebrities like WBTV’s Maureen O’Boyle and the Chick-Fil-A cows roamed the crowds as well as a special visitor from the North Pole! As the start time approached, Ariana Legatie from Compleat Rehab led the crowd in a series of stretches to warm up.
At 9:00 am, runners and walkers set off from the start line on Highway 218 in front of Veterans Park. The route took them west toward the town of Mint Hill, turning left onto Quail Park Drive and running alongside the park. The fastest runner made it back to the park in just under 20 minutes while others took a leisurely stroll that brought them back to the park in about an hour.
The purpose of the Jingle All the Way 5k is to help fund Mint Hill’s Police Explorers, a program open to young men and women from age 14 to 20 who are interested in learning more about a career in law enforcement. The program provides educational training programs for these young adults on the purposes, mission and objectives of law enforcement with the ultimate goal of helping them choose a career path within law enforcement and challenging them to become responsible citizens of our community and our nation.
“Our volunteers in the Explorers program are not funded, so that’s why we do this fundraiser, to fund all their needs,” says event organizer Lieutenant Marnee Moberg. The money raised from the 5K will go towards things like uniforms and equipment for the Police Explorers. Moberg also sees it as a great way to get the community and local businesses involved in supporting the program.
So many local businesses partnered with the Mint Hill Police Department to make the Jingle all the Way 5K possible: Novant Health, Tactical Pest, The Joint, Hall Residential, MHAA Tennis, Taxco Mexican Grill, Chick-Fil-A, Showmars, Harris Teeter, Forrest & Forrest Dentistry, Urban Air, Showmars, Coffey Can Fix It, The Hill Bar & Grill, Sycamore Animal Clinic, Jimmie’s Restaurant, Compleat Rehab, Manning Family Dentistry, Dunwellz, Mint Hill Eye, State Farm, Vintner’s Hill, Mint Hill Pharmacy, Gold and Silver Mint, Mint Hill Tool Rental, Mini Mac Storage and Terry V. Aaseby, CPA.
Post-race, runners were treated to bananas, Christmas cookies and Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Around 10:00, Maureen O’Boyle announced the winners. The first place male finisher was 16-year-old Ty Murphy from Charlotte with a gun time of 19.45. The first place female finisher was 14-year-old Parker Spangler from Waxhaw with a gun time of 23.52. Winners received decorated cookie medals and ornaments commemorating the race. Winning tickets were also drawn for raffle baskets created by local sponsors.
The fourth annual race drew over 200 participants, a significant increase over last year. Moberg credits an increased promotion on social media as well as Mint Hill’s Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting festivities with drawing a bigger crowd to the race. “This year’s our best so far!” she says.