Rector Labor Day 5K Draws Large Turnout

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Shannon McDowell, 38, of Paragould won the race in the time of 19:32. He held this big lead over the field as the race neared its final stages. More than 300 participants lined up for the highly-successful event which benefited the Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation. (T/D photos/Ron Kemp)

Rector was filled with runners and walkers Saturday morning as the annual Helping Hands 5K walk/run was once again a great success with some 300 participants.

The event went off without a hitch, and the Helping Hands Foundation hopes to clear $20,000 after expenses, said board member Shannon Haywood.

The overall male winner was Shannon McDowell, 38, of Paragould. The overall female winner was Sonia Torrey, 28, of Lakeland, Tenn. The first Rectorite to cross the finish line was 14-year-old Shannon Patterson, and Jordan Cornelison, 26, of Batesville, formerly of Rector, was the first female finisher with local connections.

Vicki Gipson of Rector was the first walker to the finish line.

(Complete results will appear in next week's edition).

"We couldn't have done it without our volunteers, and each and every donation matters immensely," Haywood said. All proceeds will go to the RHS Helping Hands Foundation.

Helping Hands was begun in 2006 by Nashville music producer Bill Carter and New Yorker Major General George Baker. Both men are alumni of RHS class of 1953. Helping Hands helps the Rector community by assisting families with needs they cannot pay for, such as dental expenses and eye exams for students in need.

The foundation also gives several scholarships to graduating RHS students every year, and helps students participate in school activities their families could not otherwise afford.

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