(See also Color Me Chattanooga slide show under Images)
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) On a sunny and warm day in downtown Chattanooga along the river, thousands of people took part in the first annual Color Me Chattanooga
5k race to have some fun and raise money for a local organization that works with the mentally and physically disabled.
Three hours before the race starts, Signal Centers
CEO Donna McConnico is making sure the event goes off without a hitch. The race is a fundraiser to help finance the expansion of Signal Centers which is an organization that has been helping disabled children and adults for more than 50 years.
"This is one was we're going to be able to expand our facilities and be able to reach more people," McConnico said.
Signal Centers is seeing more people who need their services but it's also receiving less money to fund those services so a 5k race fundraiser was established to help out.
Color Me Chattanooga chairman Stan McCright said something needed to be done to help the people who rely on Signal Centers to develop work skills.
"Anytime we have people from Chattanooga who could be serviced, it just breaks your heart to find out that they don't get the opportunities to be a productive citizen," McCright said.
He further explained his point with a very serious face and stern voice.
"They don't get the self worth of taking home a pay check. That's what this is about, it's building a facility so we can create more of those opportunities," he said.
There is no word on how much money was raised, but WDEF has been informed that all the proceeds from Color Me Chattanooga will go toward Signal Centers; unlike other Color Me events in other cities where only a portion of the money actually goes toward a specific organization trying to raise money.
Organizers said they were pleased with the turnout and support so to have thousands of people sign up for a worthy cause says a lot.
"People of Chattanooga care about helping Chattanoogans have a better life. That's what it says," said McCright
As of Sunday morning, organizers said the race raised nearly $70,000