With a virtual art auction under its belt, the next RRstrong event to raise money for forgivable loans for businesses hurting during the novel coronavirus pandemic is the RRStrong Virtual 5K.
Registration remains open and participants have the option to complete the 3.1 miles beginning Friday through Sunday.
Those who complete the 5K and post their photo either directly to the RRStrong Facebook page or by using the @rrstrong hashtag via Facebook or Instagram will receive an event shirt with art created by Riley Mills and the screen printing done by Randy Wrenn of Wrenn Sports Graphics, Screen printing & Embroidery
The entry fee for an individual is $35 and $100 for a team or family of four.
The funds will go through the Rewritten Story Foundation for a forgivable loan fund for local businesses, said Christina Caudle, Roanoke Rapids Main Street Development director.
“It’s not a race,” Caudle said. “You can run, walk, bike, skip or even flip your way to the finish line.”
One person is going to do the 5K on horseback and one person will do the race in a wheelchair, she said.
The idea, said Tracy Story of the Rewritten Story Foundation is, “You bike it, run it, swim it. It’s the idea of getting people out and getting people active and raising money for local businesses. It can bring families together, can bring friends together. You can do it outside or inside. We’re trying to inspire people to retain their healthy lifestyle before this pandemic started. Maybe this is the way to get them fired back up.”
The virtual art auction raised thousands of dollars, Caudle said.
No businesses in the city’s historic district have permanently closed because of the pandemic, Caudle said. But there are several which didn’t qualify for government assistance and the RRStrong Local Small Business Relief Fund is being set up to assist businesses which employ 20 people or less within the city limits or those which are Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce members, she said.
An application process will be launched.
The idea is to help businesses meet overhead expenses such as rent, mortgage, payroll or inventory.
The loan will be forgiven if at the end of 24 months the business remains open to the public. “Our locally-owned small businesses need help now through the reopening and recovery in order to succeed long-term,” Caudle said.
Story said, “We wanted to design some drive or fundraiser to assist these people and keep these businesses here — at least put some monetary assistance in the hands of people that need it — anything to benefit that business to keep them in business whatever amount will be welcomed if it helps catch up the utility bill or the rent instead of seeing a closed business sign.”
The Rewritten Story Foundation is a nonprofit organization.
Besides the art auction and the 5K, donations are accepted.
Those wanting to make a donation can come by Discount Tire at 475 East Tenth Street or mail a check to The Rewritten Story Foundation, 475 East Tenth Street, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870.
For more information call Caudle at 252-258-7419.