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      A chilly run for a great cause

      COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? It was delayed a week because of weather, and competing against several other runs and events, but the annual March For Meals run at Riverbanks Zoo saw over 500 participants, including Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott and a team of deputies, on a chilly Saturday morning.

      Riverbanks has served as the exclusive host location for the event, which helps to fund the Meals on Wheels program, since 2004. Event organizer and Senior Resources member Annie Eveleigh said that the Meals on Wheels program ensures that 700 people in the Midlands get a meal each day, noting that last year, over 105,000 meals were served. Eveleigh said that this annual event raises over $40,000 for Meals on Wheels.

      The 5K walk / run begins in the parking lot, and continues through the zoo, over the bridge that crosses the Saluda River into the garden, and back to the parking lot. â??The first and second miles are a bit hard with the hills,â?? says runner Michael Jenson, â??but the rest is pretty nice.â??

      â??Iâ??ve been doing it since I was 4 years old,â?? said 7 year-old Blake Wild when talking about his familyâ??s involvement in the annual run. Blake, his older brother Mark, his mother and father, and grandfather make running a family event, participating in 3-4 races a year. â??Running is a lifestyle for the family,â?? said Mark Wild, who noted that the Irmo family is planning to run together in the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston on March 31.

      With this event in the record books, Eveleigh says that planning for the 2013 March for Meals begins on Monday. You can find more information on the Meals on Wheels program, and other services provided by Senior Resources, by clicking on their WEBSITE .