(Newswire.net -- October 23, 2014) Munfordville, Kentucky -- Hart County native, Stan Cottrell, is running again. This time the Kentucky kid turned world-distance-runner is not running in some foreign land or distant place. He has come home with a very special mission in mind, a way to make a real difference for children on "National Make-A-Difference Day." And to continue making a difference in the children's lives annually.
The seeds for this campaign were planted over half a decade ago. Cottrell reports that on a seemingly obscure summer evening in 1960, some friends dared him to run the 10 miles from Horse Cave to Munfordville. He accepted the bet and proved to his peers that he could go the distance.
Cottrell asserts he could not have had a clue how those few moments in time would shape his life and make such a difference in the lives of many. Social Science experts call an episode like this a "marker." It ignited the spark which has carried him to the four corners of the earth and back.
Now at age 71, he has been challenged by Eugene Kerry and other locals who were first-hand witnesses on that life-changing summer night in 1960. Others, like Montgomery Crenshaw, also recall vividly the night Cottrell made that early run. It made an impact.
Independently, the same suggestion to make the locally famous run again came from Sandra O'Banion, founder of the "Remembering Munfordville" annual event on which this fun run piggybacks, and by Dewayne Forbis. Forbis is Owner of WLOC Radio and founder of the Clothes For Kids Foundation.
Cottrell has accepted the challenge. But this time it is different.
The run on National Make-A-Difference Day, October 25th, will be the reverse trip from Munfordville to Horse Cave. This time, the media and the community are involved in support and participation.
This time, too, there is a very real purpose other than ego or self- gratification. Cottrell is joining WLOC Radio’s "Clothes For Kids" campaigns to raise money for children of Hart County who are in need of a warm coat and other necessities for the rugged winters which always come this way.
The formula is a model for communities across the USA to make a difference in the lives of their children in need. The components? Local "celebrity" + local radio station + a somewhat impromptu community event embraced and spread by local influencers + inviting local and state media.
There is no expensive government bureaucracy to pay. This is an all-volunteer effort. So 100% of funds raised go directly to the children in poverty. Contributions are tax deductible through the Clothes For Kids 501(c)(3) foundation.
The children's need is great.
Poverty is rampant in this picturesque, rural, economically stressed county. 95% of its children live in high poverty areas. 31% are actually poverty-stricken. And almost half of all kindergarteners are not even prepared to learn.
“This is a cause I can completely endorse," Cottrell says. "I know firsthand how my Mom was very creative in making clothes from feed-sacks. I remember vividly the scarcity of food and even shoes."
The inaugural Stan Cottrell WLOC Fun Run/Walk" will start at the traffic light in Munfordville, KY on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM. It will conclude at WLOC Radio Station just before Caverna Hospital on 31W in Horse Cave.
This fun charity event, WLOC Radio and this region are expected to gain national online visibility through social media sharing of news articles, and through the broadcast media that are conducting interviews and televising the event.
Everyone is invited to join in.
All are encourage to participate in some fashion -- to run all, a little, or any distance they feel comfortable. People who are physically challenged are welcomed, and a special invitation of honor goes out to Wounded Warriors. Certificates will be given to all who participate. Commemorative T-shirts will be on sale (half price to participants). Spectators are invited to cheer participants on all along the course.
From age 17 to 71, to Cottrell this just seems to be "high time." He encourages everyone to join in the event and to share it with others:
"Come run with me… Let’s play together… Together, one step at a time, we can break down the walls which divide our hearts and nations. We must all become as little children for the sake of our children, our nation, and our world."
"I accept the 'challenge' to run this time from Munfordville to Horse Cave to benefit the children of Hart County who need someone to run and carry the message of their cold, harsh situation. I can and will go the distance. You can bet on it!"
The original run has been regarded as historic. The annual re-enactment is expected to become an integral part of the overall, continuing campaign to raise funds for children in need. It is also aimed at instilling hope, encouraging the children that much can be achieved from humble beginnings.
Cottrell provides a motivating example.
Springing from his own, modest Hart County beginnings to world recognition, Cottrell's experience demonstrates "it" can happen for children in this neck of the woods. Often barefoot, at age seven the local farm boy chased a rabbit for five hours until he caught it. In the early years, he went on to be the first Southerner to run the Boston Marathon. Once, he even ran for 33 hours straight across the entire State of Kentucky with only brief rest stops.
During the decades since then, Stan Cottrell has made "Friendship Runs" across 40 countries. He runs an uncommon event known as "Ultra Distance" and combines it with "people-to-people diplomacy." He has logged more than enough distance to run nine times around the world. Consider this:
- He ran from New York to San Francisco in 48 days, setting a new Guinness World Record.
- He ran through 12 countries across Europe in 80 days averaging 80 km per day.
- He ran 2,125 miles across rugged terrain from the Great Wall of China to Guangzhou in just 53 days.
Stan Cottrell has been honored by dignitaries and heads of state throughout the world. His deeds have brought nations together in friendship, and his words have inspired millions. But now he is back home running the same road which took him away from home. He puts it this way:
"The road which took me from the tobacco patches to the rice paddies, meeting the well-known to the unknown, from the palaces of the world to the White House…now brings me back home... It all makes such good sense... and it's time to give back here at home, where there is such a crying need among the children. This event is a perfect complement to National Make-A-Difference Day."
Cottrell is running for the home team not only to make an immediate difference, but perhaps to teach children to have hope, to seek a better future, and not to be afraid to dream big. Really big. He adds: "And if that doesn't work, dream BIGGER!"
The first annual "Stan Cottrell WLOC Fun Run/Walk For The Children" -- Event information 270-786-1000.
Contributions to Clothes For Kids Foundation -- Call WLOC Radio business office 270-774-1485.
About Stan Cottrell: Visit FriendshipSports.org (his nonprofit corporation) and http://RealStanCottrell.Wordpress.com.
On Facebook, connect with "Cottrell Stan" personally or with The Great Global Friendship Run page at www.Facebook.com/TGGFR.
Share your photos and videos of the run event and surrounding activities with Stan Cottrell's team for social media, news releases and more to keep spreading the word to help the children. Send them to: Margaret@stancottrell.com