Save the date—June 13, 2020— for the sixth annual 5k9 Race taking place at Piedmont Church in Marietta/East Cobb. Founded by the former president of the Northeast Cobb Business Association (NCBA), Frank Wigington, the 5k9 Race combines staying active, coming together as a community, and spending time with amazing dogs.
The race was founded when the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office lost one of its beloved canines. The NCBA wanted to start a fundraiser to aid the purchase of a service dog for the sheriff’s office, and the 5k9 Race was born. Since 2014, The 5k9 Race has helped raise money for five service dogs for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, the Cobb County Police Department, a veteran, a student with autism, and most recently the Cobb County District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office wanted a dog to help calm witnesses during interviews or testimonies in crimes against children and the elderly. In 2020, SafePath will receive a service dog from the 5k9 Race fundraising. SafePath is a child advocacy center that needs a service dog to assist in the care and comfort of children that come to their center.
One of Wigington’s favorite donation stories is that of the student with autism. His mother and father, who work for the county as a special education teacher and a resource officer, respectfully, always wanted a dog for their son with epilepsy and autism, but they were never able to afford one on their own. The service dog they needed cost $26,000 due to cross-training for both epilepsy and autism. The family had to go through three dogs to find the right match. Their first dog would eat socks! The second dog simply couldn’t complete his training, but the third dog was perfect for the family.
With many sponsors from the community, from Commissioner JoAnn Birrell, to the many public safety officials throughout Cobb County, the 5k9 Race is a true community event. Even the county’s district attorney’s office has its own team known as ‘Swift Justice’. With volunteers from Sprayberry and Kell High Schools’ football teams and cheerleaders, the 5k9 has become a tradition in East Cobb. “It’s a great race for those that love dogs, love their community, and want to make a difference,” says Frank Wigington.
For more information on the upcoming race on June 13, 2020 and to find out how to get involved, visit the Northeast Cobb Business Association’s website: northeastcobbba.com.