Venecia’s Foundation Board of Directors and friends are preparing for the 5th annual Crap Run, which benefits the foundation founded by the late Venecia Benefield Butler. The purpose of the run is to keep Butler’s dream alive by making the lives of those going through treatment for cancer as comfortable as possible by giving them care bags.

The 5K run is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. It will begin in front of Farmers & Merchants Bank on Ladiga Street and end near Pope’s Furniture.

This year, for the first time, the race will be monitored by chip time. Runners will have a chip attached to a Velcro strap around their ankles. As they go across a special mat at the starting line, the chip registers that they have begun the race. As they cross the finishing line, the chip registers that they have finished the race.

According to Randa Carroll, Butler’s sister and one of the event’s organizers, the divice is “very accurate and will be a great addition to the run.”

Carroll said organizers have been wanting to go this route for some time, but haven’t been able to until now. It’s a bit more expensive, but she’s hoping for many runners, which will help offset the cost. Last year around 300 participated. She’s hoping for more this year.

The kids’ run, or fun run, will begin at 6 p.m. Before the runs begin, everyone is invited to enjoy a festival, which will begin at 5 p.m. Although plans haven’t been finalized, there will be face painting, and food vendors. Heather Jackson will bring her food from Nett’s Kitchen.

The 5K run is $25 or $20 for a team of four or more. The cost goes up to $30 after September. T-shirts can only be guaranteed through September. Registration forms can be picked up at Venecia’s Foundation at 108 N. Center Ave., or go to https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Piedmont/CrapRun. For more information, Carroll can be reached at 256-452-4625.

“This is the largest fundraiser for the foundation we do for the entire year,” Carroll said. “We always get very excited about it and we hope everyone else does too. We invite everyone to come out and participate in the 5K, and we’d like to ask parents to encourage their children to participate in the fun run. It’s a fun event and at the same time, it’s helping so many who are going through what my sister went through. She would be happy if we had a huge turnout.”

Those battling cancer often spend hours at hospitals receiving treatment. Butler’s goal for the foundation was to brighten the day of those in treatment by sharing faith and love. Proceeds from the run, and all of Venecia’s Foundation fundraisers, help fill the care bags which include large soft blankets, chapstick, a journal, a soft toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, a puzzle/crossword book, a travel size pillow, lubricant eye drops, sugar free candy, gum, Lubriderm lotion (24 oz.), ink pen, port pillows and tissues. For patients going through radiation, their bags are filled with $50 gas gift cards.

Venecia’s Foundation is an incorporated, 501C(3) non-profit organization

Carroll encourages everyone to go all out and wear their craziest glow in the dark outfits.

The next fundraiser will be a power lifting contest. Go to Ladiga Fitness, where the event will take place on Oct. 21, to pick up a registration form. The cost to participate is $25.